Douglas Dreishpoon discussed the later works of Helen Frankenthaler in the context of the concept of “beauty”. It’s also about age and experience.
He invokes novelist Toni Morrison, who
advocated for beauty “as an absolute necessity. I don’t think it’s a privilege or an indulgence,” she urged. “It’s not even a quest. I think it’s almost like knowledge, which is to say, it’s what we were born
As for Frankenthaler, Dreishpoon notes:
Though at times dispirited, she courted beauty, in the studio more than anywhere else, as she rose to the occasion, time and time again, to paint. …the artist moved in whatever direction suited her mood and imagination. Some of the most poignant late works, conceived as minimal pastel horizons ….feel like veils of time fleeting. In works bearing titles like Almost Dark, Ebbing, The Other Side, and Port of Call … one senses a glimpse of finality. Looking at Driving East … it’s hard to know whether the flickering light along the horizon is ascending or descending. Is it dawn or dusk?