new-york

Helen Frankenthaler

Emmerich Gallery

Hanging into and down the surfaces of Helen Frankenthaler’s new paintings are soft, sodden stretches of color, of which some titles—Cinnamon Burn, Chalk Zone—are fair indications of their sensory allusiveness. Frames are as arbitrary in their containment of masses as edges are meandering in their sometimes “cut” or blotted presence. One finds very little incident in this languid, often pastel, and occasionally bilious terrain. Some very delicate adjustments of energy and dissonance are necessary to bring off her particular suspension of forces, and these, for the most part, are lacking in this show. It is as if the dreamy waywardness which she has cultivated with pungent effect in the past was not, this time, accompanied by enough selective or critical rigor. Such an absence makes many canvases look slack and dilute, anti-climactic despite some high saturated fussing at the margins. At

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