Color monotype over white-washed lithograph proof on Arches Cover paper, 1996. 1025x805 mm; 40 1/2x31 3/4 inches (sheet), full margins. Signed in pencil, lower right, and inscribed "XVI" and dated in pencil, verso. Printed and published by Tyler Graphics, Ltd., Mount Kisco, with the blind stamp, lower left.
Frankenthaler (1928-2011, see lots 54-57, lot 199 and lot 200) was part of the second generation of Abstract Expressionists in New York and pioneered the Color Field Painting style. Though she was frequently lauded for her experimentation in painting, her work as a printmaker has also been noted for her ground-breaking innovations. The New York School had not practiced printmaking extensively until Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE) was founded in 1957 in West Islip. Frankenthaler did not enthusiastically come into printmaking at first, but as she became more versatile with various printmaking techniques and their sometimes labor-intensive process, she became a devotee and would frequently return to print workshops throughout her career. Frankenthaler first used monotype, which can incorporate different materials as print matrixes to create unique impressions, in 1964. The monotype medium allowed Frankenthaler the freedom to work directly on the printing plate or other flat matrix.
Over the course of her career, she experimented with printing monotypes from woodcuts (then considered an outdated medium), torn rubber and intaglio. To push the boundaries of the woodcut, Frankenthaler collaborated with the master printer Kenneth Tyler in the 1970s. She put together matrixes of thin plywood which were separately inked with colors in order to achieve her signature stained and washed style. She also used lithographic presses and different papers in experimenting with her woodcuts. In her partnership with Tyler, Frankenthaler pushed the boundaries of the medium to parallel painterly abstraction.