Starting again with the question of her

Hudson River bike path (Formalism) ©MAIERMOUL
Hudson River bike path (Formalism) ©MAIERMOUL

But we cannot, alas, see formalism as quite able, even when willing, to speak of Frankenthaler’s work in terms that would successfully keep her paintings consequential for a current audience.

Can they be made to matter again?

Doing so, I am convinced, would involve starting again with the question of her relation to Pollock: it means asking how her work uses, refuses, and contradicts the example his painting provides. For, of his successors, she may well be his most important respondent, at least among the painters who have cared about his art — important I think, because she both admires and resists it, and lets the struggle show. And she sees things there that other viewers have permitted themselves to ignore.

-Anne M. Wagner, Pollock’s Nature, Frankenthaler’s Culture in Jackson Pollock: New Approaches, Varnedoe and Karmel, ed.