Small's Paradise

  • Helen Frankenthaler, Small's Paradise, 1964, acrylic, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of George L. Erion, 1967.121

Publication Label

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 random forms. She titled her works according to the images that seemed "to come out of the pictures." When a shape that struck her as "Persian" emerged on the canvas, Frankenthaler apparently thought of the word paradise, derived from the Persian pairi diz, for walled enclosure or garen. She has been to Small's Paradise, a New York City joke joint, not long before, and when she put the associations together, the painting became an emblem of a particular moment in her life.

Smithsonian American Art Museum: Commemorative Guide. Nashville, TN: Beckon Books, 2015.

Title
Small's Paradise
Artists
Date
1964
On View
Dimensions
100 x 93 5/8 in. (254.0 x 237.7 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of George L. Erion

Mediums
Classifications
Keywords
  • Abstract
Object Number
1967.121
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI