Helen Frankenthaler, born New York City 1928-died Darien, CT 2011 Search this
acrylic on canvas
100 x 93 5/8 in. (254.0 x 237.7 cm.)
Helen Frankenthaler's breakthrough as an abstract painter came when she discovered that paint thinned with turpentine and poured on raw canvas yielded rich colors and unexpected forms. Her titles were inspired by images that seemed "to come out of the pictures." When a shape that struck her as "Persian" emerged on this canvas, Frankenthaler thought of the word paradise--derived from pairi diz, Persian for a walled enclosure or garden. She had been to a New York City nightclub called Small's Paradise not long before, so when she put the associations together the painting became an emblem of a particular moment in her life.