Events celebrate contemporary artist Helen Frankenthaler

For Immediate Release
September 19, 2017
Williamstown, Massachusetts—In celebration of the life and work of contemporary artist Helen Frankenthaler, the Clark Art Institute plans a weekend of special events, including musical performances and public lectures, on Saturday, September 23 and Sunday, September 24. The events coincide with the Clark’s special exhibitions No Rules: Helen Frankenthaler Woodcuts (on view through September 24) and As in Nature: Helen Frankenthaler Paintings (on view through October 9).
All events are free; regular admission will be charged for those wishing to visit the galleries. Some events require reservations, as detailed below.
Abstract Expressions: A Musical Exhibit in Four Parts is supported in part by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation.
Saturday, September 23, 1–6 pm:

“Abstract Expressions: An American Musical Exhibit,” composed of several parts, will be performed in various locations on the Clark Art Institute’s campus.

Part I, 1–2 pm: International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) joins soprano Tony Arnold and conductor David Fulmer to perform Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire (1912) and Pauline Oliveros’s Earth Ears.
Free; reservations required. To reserve, visit or call 413 458 0524.
Michael Conforti Pavilion

Part II, 2–4 pm: Pianist Conor Hanick performs Morton Feldman’s Triadic Memories (1981) and a world premiere in two movements by David Fulmer—Tracing Scarlet in the Shimmering and Sheathed in the Crush of the Sea—inspired by Helen Frankenthaler’s painting Tethys.
Free; no reservations required.
Clark Center, Lower Lobby

Part III, 2:30–3:15 pm: Abstract for Winds, an outdoor chamber music performance, features Edgard Varèse’s Octandre (1923), Ruth Crawford Seeger’s Suite, for Wind Quintet (1952), and Elliott Carter’s Woodwind Quintet (1948).
Free; no reservations required.
Spencer Terrace, Lunder Center at Stone Hill

Part IV, 5–6 pm: Ensemble Connect performs John Cage’s Nocturne for Violin and Piano (1947); Mario Davidovsky’s Flashbacks (1995) for chamber ensemble; Elliott Carter’s Epigrams (2012) for violin, cello, and piano; and Charles Wuorinen’s New York Notes (1982). David Fulmer conducts.
Free; reservations required. To reserve, visit or call 413 458 0524.
Michael Conforti Pavilion

Yamaha CFX and C7X grand pianos are provided by Yamaha Artist Services, New York, in association with Falcetti Pianos in Natick, MA.
Saturday, September 23, 3:30 pm:
“Helen Frankenthaler’s Creative Process,”
a public lecture, features a panel of guest speakers including artist Clifford Ross, curator Jay A. Clarke, and Clark Director Olivier Meslay. The panel focuses on Frankenthaler’s creative process, methods, and materials, as well as public reception of the artist’s works.
Free; no reservations required.
Michael Conforti Pavilion
Sunday, September 24, 2 pm:
“In Collaboration with Helen Frankenthaler,”
a public lecture, is presented by Thomas Krens, director emeritus of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and former director of the Williams College Museum of Art. Krens provides an inside look at the Clark’s 1980 exhibition Helen Frankenthaler Prints: 1961–1979, which he curated with Helen Frankenthaler when she was artist in residence at Williams College.
Free; no reservations required.

David Fulmer, the program’s curator, is a leader in his generation of composer-performers. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and summer 2017 guest artist at Tanglewood. New commissions include the New York Philharmonic, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Berlin Philharmonic Scharoun Ensemble, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Carnegie Hall, Alte Oper Frankfurt, and Amsterdam’s Asko Ensemble, among others.

Soprano Tony Arnold is recognized internationally as a leading proponent of new music in concert and recording, having premiered over 200 works “with a musicality and virtuosity that have made her the Cathy Berberian of her generation” (Chicago Tribune). Since becoming the first-prize laureate of both the 2001 Gaudeamus International Competition (Netherlands) and the 2001 Louise D. McMahon Competition (USA), Arnold has collaborated with the most cutting-edge composers and instrumentalists on the world stage, and shares with the audience her “broader gift for conveying the poetry and nuance behind outwardly daunting contemporary scores” (Boston Globe).

The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is an artist collective committed to transforming the way music is created and experienced. As performers, curators, and educators, ICE explores how new music intersects with communities across the world. The ensemble’s thirty-five members (some of whom will perform in “Abstract Expressions”) are featured as soloists, chamber musicians, commissioners, and collaborators. A recipient of the American Music Center’s Trailblazer Award and the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, ICE was also named 2014 Ensemble of the Year by Musical America.

Pianist Conor Hanick is a recitalist, chamber musician, and ensemble member throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. He has performed at all three halls of Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Mondavi Performing Arts Center, the Krannert Center, Rockefeller University, Kultur und Kongresszentrum Luzern, Kyoto Concerto Hall, the Dewan Filharmonik Peronas in Malaysia, and at prominent arts venues in New York City including the Alice Tully Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (le) Poisson Rouge, and The Kitchen.

Ensemble Connect is a two-year fellowship program for the best young professional classical musicians in the United States, preparing them for careers that combine musical excellence with teaching, community engagement, advocacy, entrepreneurship, and leadership. Ensemble Connect is a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education.

Artist Clifford Ross, chair of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, followed his early career in painting and sculpture with photographic work begun in 1994. A major milestone in his work is the Hurricane series, which depict dramatic ocean waves shot by Ross during hurricanes while in the water and tethered to an assistant on land. His recent collaborations include a multimedia installation with Pan Gongkai, president of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing; a site-specific, multi-screen production with the Orchestra of St. Lukes at Celebrate Brooklyn!; and a 3.5-ton, 28' x 28' stained-glass wall with architects Mack Scogin and Merrill Elam for the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Austin, Texas. He also recently presented Landscape Seen & Imagined at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), an exhibition that included a 24’ high x 114’ long photograph on raw wood that spanned the length of the museum’s tallest gallery. Ross is a contributing editor to BOMB magazine.
Thomas Krens is director emeritus of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation (1988–2008) and former director of the Williams College Museum of Art (1981–88). He directed the artist-in-residence program at Williams from 1976–80. During his tenure at WCMA, Krens developed the idea of using an abandoned factory in North Adams to house a new museum, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), which opened in 1999 and is now the largest center for contemporary visual art and performing arts in the United States. His current projects in North Adams include the Global Contemporary Art Museum, a 160,000-square-foot “fly-in” museum scheduled for completion in 2018; the creation of the Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum (EMRCA), located in the Western Gateway Heritage State Park; and the renovation of the city’s historic Mohawk Theater on Main Street.
No Rules explores Helen Frankenthaler’s inventive and groundbreaking approach to the woodcut. The artist began creating woodcuts after her previous experimentations with lithography, etching, and screen printing. Throughout her career, Frankenthaler collaborated with a variety of print publishers to push the medium in new directions. In 1983, she traveled to Japan and worked with the expert woodcarver Reizo Monjyu and the printer Tadashi Toda. These efforts resulted in an entirely new, layered approach to color, which differed from traditional forms of woodcut in which images are pulled from a single carved block or from several different color blocks.
As in Nature: Helen Frankenthaler Paintings presents twelve of the artist’s large-scale paintings, made over the course of her long career, that engage with the tension between abstraction and representation. Spanning the full range of styles, techniques, and formal preoccupations that Frankenthaler explored over five decades of work, these paintings are primarily abstract, yet reveal recognizable elements from the landscape that function, paradoxically, to reinforce their abstraction: as in nature, but not as in nature.
As in Nature and No Rules are made possible by the generous contribution of Denise Littlefield Sobel and the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts. Major support is provided by Dena and Felda Hardymon, with additional support from Richard and Carol Seltzer.
The Clark Art Institute, located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. Acting as convener through its Research and Academic Program, the Clark gathers an international community of scholars to participate in a lively program of conferences, colloquia, and workshops on topics of vital importance to the visual arts. The Clark library, consisting of more than 270,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. The Clark also houses and co-sponsors the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.
The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Galleries are open daily in July and August, 10 am to 5 pm; open Tuesday–Sunday from September through June, 10 am–5 pm. Admission is $20; free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. For more information, visit or call 413 458 2303.
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