Installation view, Abstract Climates: Helen Frankenthaler in Provincetown. Photo: Jenny Gorman 


Clifford Ross, Amy Sillman, Alexander Nemerov, and Avis Berman are among those featured in the robust schedule of programs related to the exhibition “Abstract Climates: Helen Frankenthaler in Provincetown”   

The Parrish Art Museum presents Abstract Climates: Helen Frankenthaler in Provincetown, an exhibition that highlights Helen Frankenthaler’s (1928–2011) exploration of the relationship between landscape and abstraction through key examples of work that was produced in or references Provincetown, MA. To enhance the experience of this exhibition of 30 paintings and works on paper, the Museum has created a robust schedule of talks by artists, art historians, and curators who knew the artist personally or possess a unique insight into her process. The talks are focused on Frankenthaler’s work, her time in East Hampton, and summers in Provincetown with her husband Robert Motherwell. Featured presenters include art historians Alexander Nemerov and Avis Berman, artists Clifford Ross and Amy Sillman, and Alicia G. Longwell, the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Chief Curator at the Parrish who organized the exhibition at the Museum.  All programs are open to the public, and free with museum admission. Reservations are recommended.


“This exhibition, which has already garnered critical acclaim, shows works by Frankenthaler during a very important period of her professional and personal life,” said Longwell. “We’re delighted to present programs featuring esteemed artists, art historians, and curators to give the public a special insight into this important artist who spent time out here on the East End.”


Thursday, August 22, noon

Brain Food with Alicia Longwell

Longwell will present By the Sea, By the Sea, 1950s—the first of her three Brain Food lunch time talks at the Museum. Frankenthaler first spent time in Provincetown in the summer of 1950, at the age of 21, studying briefly with famed Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann. (The exhibition opens with works made at his studio school during that summer including the oil painting Provincetown Bay, 1950.) During the next two years, Frankenthaler traveled to otherseaside locales, including East Hampton, where she met Jackson Pollock and witnessed his revolutionary technique of applying paint to canvas unfurled on the floor. The risk-taking in materials and technique that Frankenthaler observed led to the evolution of her work in Provincetown and to the development of her trademark soak stain technique.


Friday, August 23, 6 pm

Alexander Nemerov and Clifford Ross

Art historian Alexander Nemerov, who is working on a new book about Frankenthaler, will be joined in conversation by artist Clifford Ross, nephew of Frankenthaler and Chairman of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation. A professor as well as Chair of Stanford University’s Department of Art and Art History,Nemerov is a scholar of American art. A noted speaker and writer, his most recent books include Silent Dialogues: Diane Arbus and Howard Nemerov (2015),among others. Ross is a multi-media artist whose stunning LED wall, Light | Waves was installed on the front of the Museum in the summer of 2017.  His work is in the collections of the Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY; Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston


Thursday, August 29
, noon

Brain Food with Alicia Longwell

Longwell will present her second Brain Food talk: Studios Overlooking Cape Cod Bay, 1961-66, referring to Frankenthaler and Motherwell’s work in their shared water-side studio in Provincetown. During these years, Frankenthaler painted Summerscene: Provincetown, 1961, in which she experimented with various types of acrylic; Cool Summer, 1962, an exploration in scale and process; and monumentally scaled works with highly expressive imagery includingLow Tide, 1963. All works are on view in the exhibition.


Thursday, August 29, 5 pm

Avis Berman

Writer, curator, and historian of American art, architecture, and culture Avis Berman will give the talk Voices from the Artist’s Archives. Curator of the 2014 exhibition William Glackens at the Parrish, Berman has written about art, architecture, and the social history of the visual arts for publications including The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Washington Post, American Art, and ARTnews, among many others. She has authored biographies on Edward Hopper, Roy Lichtenstein, and James Abbott McNeill Whistler, and wrote the acclaimed Rebels on Eighth Street: Juliana Force and the Whitney Museum of American Art (Atheneum).


Thursday, September 5, noon

Brain Food with Alicia Longwell

Longwell’s final Brain Food talk is Place and Space 1967-1969. For her last summer in Provincetown, Frankenthaler moved to a new studio that enabled her to create large-scale paintings including the highly atmospheric Flood, 1967, which expresses the experiential qualities of sky and water through light-infused shapes, and Indian Summer, 1967, a simple composition of stacked horizontal bands that is filled with evidence of gesture.


Friday, September 13, 6 pm

Artist to Artist with Amy Sillman

The Museum will present a gallery talk on Helen Frankenthaler with abstract expressionist painter Amy Sillman and Parrish Art Museum Director Terrie Sultan. Born in Detroit and currently living and working in New York, Sillman had solo exhibitions this year at The Arts Club of Chicago, and Camden Arts Centre in London; and previously at institutions including Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Drawing Center, New York; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Aspen Art Museum; Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; and Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria.  Her works are held in the public collections of the Brooklyn Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; and the Art Institute of Chicago;


Friday nights are made possible, in part, by Presenting Sponsor:

Additional support provided by The Corcoran Group and Sandy and Stephen Perlbinder.

Abstract Climates: Helen Frankenthaler in Provincetown is made possible, in part, by the leadership support of Barbara Slifka, and Laura Lofaro-Freeman and James L. Freeman, with additional generous support from BNB Bank, GAGOSIAN, Ellen and Howard Katz, and the Meringoff Family Foundation.

Abstract Climates: Helen Frankenthaler in Provincetown was organized by the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.



Parrish Art Museum

Inspired by the natural setting and artistic life of Long Island’s East End, the Parrish Art Museum illuminates the creative process and how art and artists transform our experiences and understanding of the world and how we live in it. The Museum fosters connections among individuals, art, and artists through care and interpretation of the collection, presentation of exhibitions, publications, educational initiatives, programs, and artists-in-residence. The Parrish is a center for cultural engagement, an inspiration and destination for the region, the nation, and the world.


Parrish Art Museum construction photographs © Jeff Heatley.


AAQ Resource: Koral Bros., Inc. General Contractors