A Comparative Analysis

Updated: Jul 23, 2019

Helen Frankenthaler and Amy Sillman:

The Anatomy of a Search for Diversity in a Major Art Museum

Summer/Fall Semester 2018, Research Paper #2

"The artist is the medium of her medium. . ."

--Art critic Harold Rosenberg quoted in

Make It New: Abstract Painting from the National Gallery of Art 1950-1975 by Harry Cooper.


For my second paper of the semester, I was required to write a comparative analysis. I chose to compare two abstract paintings (both currently on display in the East Building at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC) by two women artists.


The first painting is by contemporary artist Amy Sillman, entitled Blue Diagram (2009). Pianting details: Oil on canvas, 90 ¾” x 84 ¾”. Promised gift to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, from Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz. Photo: Anne Barnes 2018.


And the second painting is by the 20th Century artist Helen Frankenthaler, entitled Mountains and Sea (1952). Painting details: Oil and charcoal on canvas, 86 3/8” x 117 1/4” On extended loan to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, from the collection of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. Photo: Anne Barnes 2018

To read my paper entitled Helen Frankenthaler and Amy Sillman: The Anatomy of a Search for Diversity in a Major Art Museum click here or you can also access the file directly from my website annebarnesdesign.com and by going to the Portfolio/MFA Papers drop down tab at the top of the page and opening the PDF named Residency_1_2018_paper_2.pdf.

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