Helen Frankenthaler | Veils of Color

helen frankenthaler madame de pompadour, zane bennett gallery helen frankenthaler

Madame de Pompadour, color lithograph, 44 x 30 in


“There are no rules. That is how art is born, how breakthroughs happen,” said Helen Frankenthaler (b. 1928) “Go against the rules or ignore the rules. That is what invention is about.”

For over six decades, Frankenthaler went against the rules, pioneering new techniques which launched the second generation of Color Field painting.


Her poured works were created by diluting paints to the delicate consistency of watercolors. The opaque stains spread into the fibers of the canvas, creating vivid veils of color—simultaneously bright yet soft abstract representations of real or imaginary landscapes.


“What concerns me when I work, is not whether the picture is a landscape, or whether it’s pastoral, or whether somebody will see a sunset in it,” Frankenthaler explains. “What concerns me is – did I make a beautiful picture?”


To learn more about this artwork, please inquire or contact us at 505-982-8111


Scroll below to see more works by Frankenthaler in our collection.

helen frankenthaler the clearing, helen frankenthaler, helen frankenthaler zane bennett gallery
The Clearing, woodcut, 24 x 32 in.

Bird’s Eye View: Lu Xinjian

Lu Xinjian- City DNA Paintings- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico
Lu Xinjian, City DNA Santa Fe, acrylic on linen, 47.5 x 59.38 in, 2015

Can you find Zane Bennett Contemporary Art? Using aerial photos sourced from Google Earth, Lu Xinjian (b. 1977) meticulously depicted the streets of Santa Fe in acrylic on linen. City DNA Santa Fe is part of a larger series by the Chinese artist, where he reduces far-flung metropolises into densely patterned abstractions. Lu Xinjian hasn’t visited many of the places that appear in the expansive City DNA series. He completes each immense painting in his studio in China, traveling the globe through his brush and imagination. From Beijing to New York City to Amsterdam, Lu Xinjian precisely and energetically captures each city’s visual rhythm.

Click here to browse the complete Zane Bennett Contemporary Art collection.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: Flexible

Jean-Michel Basquiat- Fine Art Prints- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

“Believe it or not, I can actually draw,” said Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960 – 1988). After establishing himself as a musician, poet, and graffiti artist by the time he was 20, Basquiat debuted his paintings to critical acclaim in a group exhibition sponsored by Colab and Fashion Moda. He would have his first solo show a year later, which launched a prolific but tragically short career.

The artist’s signature, scrawling painting style often commented on systematic racism, class struggle, and power structures. Basquiat’s neo-expressionist paintings have been exhibited internationally since his death, often selling in the millions. In fact, the image from his 24-color screen print Flexible also appears in a 1984 painting that sold for $45.3 million at Phillips earlier this year. Look below to learn more about the print, which is new to our collection.

Jean-Michel Basquiat- Flexible- Screen Print- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

  Jean-Michel Basquiat, Flexible,
24-color screenprint, 60.25 x 45.5 in, 2016

Click here to browse the complete Zane Bennett Contemporary Art collection.

Get Lost with Akira Yamaguchi.

Akira Yamaguchi- Artworks on Paper- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Akira Yamaguchi (b. 1969, Japan) is the kind of artist who lands in a circle of luminaries wherever he goes. Yamaguchi designed the cover art for the album V by the nu-jazz music duo United Future Organization, and illustrated the book Chronicles of My Life: An American in the Heart of Japan by Donald Keene. He’s good friends with the perennially hip director Sofia Coppola, who cast him as the bellhop in her Oscar-winning movie Lost in Translation. The artist’s densely detailed paintings of fantastical cityscapes, which modernize the multi-tiered aesthetic of Japanese Edo period pictures, would make perfect companion art for Coppola’s sprawling but hyperspecific film. Several prints of Yamaguchi’s images are part of the Zane Bennett Contemporary collection. Send your eyes on a visual walkabout!

Photo: Kawai Satoshi.

Akira Yamaguchi- Artwork on Paper- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Akira Yamaguchi
Tokei (Tokyo): Roppongi Hillsbronze
Inkjet Print
16 x 25 in

Akira Yamaguchi- Artwork on Paper- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Akira Yamaguchi
Tokei (Tokyo): Hiroo and Roppongi
Inkjet Print
30 x 26 in

Akira Yamaguchi- Artwork on Paper- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Akira Yamaguchi
Department Store: Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi
Inkjet Print
23 x 33 in

Click here to browse the complete Zane Bennett Contemporary Art collection.

Sam Francis in Winter.

Sam Francis- Artist Portrait- Photo by Meibao D. Nee.- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art

“Ideas hang around images like shadows,” said Sam Francis (1923-1994). “The space at the center of these paintings is reserved for you.”  The quote seems particularly apt when it comes to the abstract expressionist’s aquatint “The Five Continents in Wintertime.” Francis employs his idiosyncratic drips and splatters, but pulls back his typically vibrant palette to reflect the purple, blue and brown tones of bare branches set against winter skies. Between these cool winter “shadows,” a field of snowy white paper shows through.

Francis was born in San Mateo, California. He was initially influenced by the work of abstract expressionists such as Mark Rothko, Arshile Gorky and Clyfford Still. While living in Paris in the 1950’s, he became associated with Tachisme. Tachisme was a reaction to cubism and is characterized by spontaneous brushwork, drips and blobs of paint straight from the tube, and sometimes scribbling reminiscent of calligraphy. Francis spent his time in Paris executing entirely monochromatic works, but his mature pieces are generally large oil paintings with splashed or splattered areas of bright contrasting color. Areas of white canvas are often left to show through, and in later works, paint is sometimes confined to the edges of the canvas. Scroll down to view “The Five Continents in Wintertime” and other works by Sam Francis.

Image: Meibao D. Nee.

Sam Francis- The Five Continents in Wintertime- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Sam Francis
The Five Continents in Wintertime
aquatint, 23.75in x 48.75in

Sam Francis- Color Lithograph- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Sam Francis
color lithograph, 30 x 20 in.

Sam Francis
Untitled #5, from Pasadena Box
lithograph, 11 x 15 in.

Click here to browse the complete Zane Bennett Contemporary collection.

Helen Frankenthaler’s Reflections.

Helen Frankenthaler- Works on Paper- Zane Bennett Contemporary Arts- Santa Fe New Mexico

“A really good picture looks as if it has happened at once,” said Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011). “It’s an immediate image.” The West Coast artist developed an entire painting technique around this idea. By thinning her oils with turpentine or water and splashing them across canvases, she created abstract images that possessed the immediacy she was after. Famed art critic Clement Greenberg heralded her “soak-stain” compositions as the next step in abstract expressionism’s evolution, after Jackson Pollock’s breakthrough drip paintings rocked the world.

“When Greenberg brought the abstract painters Kenneth Noland and Morris Louis to Frankenthaler’s studio in 1953, they seized upon both her technique and the broad, flat expanses of color she created,” writes Jon Mann for Artsy. “Greenberg was quick to… highlight a second impulse and aesthetic in Abstract Expressionism—Color Field Painting—of which Frankenthaler would be a leading exponent for over a decade.” Frankenthaler’s lithograph Reflections X exemplifies the flowing, lyrical nature of her best paintings. It’s from her Reflections series, 12 lithographs that she made with Tyler Graphics in 1995. Scroll down to see the new piece, and two other prints from the Zane Bennett Contemporary collection.

Helen Frankenthaler- Reflections X- Series Lithograph- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art

Helen Frankenthaler
Reflections X
14.75 x 11.75 in.

Helen Frankenthaler- Yellow Jack- Lithograph- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art

Helen Frankenthaler
Yellow Jack
30 x 38 in

Helen Frankenthaler
The Clearing
16.75 x 21 in

Click here to learn more about artwork by Helen Frankenthaler in the Zane Bennett Contemporary Collection.