which of the following descriptions relates best to helen frankenthaler’s mountains and sea
The New York Times described Mountains and Sea as, “a light-struck, diaphanous evocation of hills, rocks and water,” and the artist herself later said the canvas, “look[s] to many people like a large paint rag, casually accidental and incomplete.” 
In the summer of 1952, Frankenthaler went on a road trip to Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, during which she painted landscapes there using foldable easel equipment.  Mountains and Sea was painted after this trip, and while the painting is not a direct depiction of a coastline in Nova Scotia, it contains elements that suggest a kind of seascape or landscape, like the strokes of blue that join with areas of green. 
A really good picture looks as if it’s happened at once. It’s an immediate image. For my own work, when a picture looks labored and overworked, and you can read in it—well, she did this and then she did that, and then she did that—there is something in it that has not got to do with beautiful art to me. And I usually throw these out, though I think very often it takes ten of those over-labored efforts to produce one really beautiful wrist motion that is synchronized with your head and heart, and you have it, and therefore it looks as if it were born in a minute.
As an active painter for nearly six decades, Frankenthaler went through a variety of phases and stylistic shifts.  Initially associated with abstract expressionism  because of her focus on forms latent in nature, Frankenthaler is identified with the use of fluid shapes, abstract masses, and lyrical gestures.   She made use of large formats on which she painted, generally, simplified abstract compositions.  Her style is notable in its emphasis on spontaneity, as Frankenthaler herself stated, “A really good picture looks as if it’s happened at once.” 
This canvas is the artist’s landmark piece in which she first pioneered her soak-stain process. Despite its large size (7 x 10 feet), it is a work of quiet intimacy. Painted on the artist’s return from Nova Scotia, Mountains and Sea retains the artist’s impressions of the Cape Breton environs; as she famously described, the region’s landscapes “were in my arms as I did it . I was trying to get at something – I didn’t know what until it was manifest.” Here, color takes on a new, primary role, with washes of pink, blue, and green defining the hills, rocks, and water, the forms of which are sketchily outlined in charcoal. Following their encounter with Mountains and Sea and other works by Frankenthaler produced by means of the soak-stain technique, Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland promptly embraced the method and, together with Frankenthaler, launched the “next big thing” in American art: Color Field Painting.
Oil on canvas – Collection Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. (on extended loan to the National Gallery of Art, Washington
The process of viewing these objects is both optical and physical. We start by circumnavigating the collective, our attention drawn to the repetition of form and the shifting interrelation of parts, in terms of their materiality and scale. We become aware of both their similarities and their differences. Broadly they are all the same, fitting into the generic description above. Yet the shift in scale and thickness attests to both the natural qualities of the materials and the handmade nature of their production.
Ana Mendieta used her own body, together with elemental materials such as blood, fire, earth and water, to create visceral performances and ephemeral ‘earth-body’ sculptures that combine ritual with metaphors of life, death, rebirth and spiritual transformation. In the mid-to late 1970s Mendieta made a series of works called Arbol de la Vida, or Tree of Life. For this particular work Mendieta plastered herself in mud before standing, with raised arms, at the base of a living tree. Tree of Life featured in a retrospective of the artist’s work at the Hayward Gallery in 2014.
ARS 102: Module 4 Key Terms
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