Douglas Dreishpoon Appointed Director of Catalogue Raisonné

Douglas Dreishpoon Appointed Director of Catalogue Raisonné

Helen Frankenthaler Foundation

Photo: Tom Loonan, 2017.

January 31, 2017
Douglas Dreishpoon Appointed Director of Catalogue Raisonné
Helen Frankenthaler Foundation
134 West 26th Street, Floor 5
New York, NY 10001

T +1 212 268 4937
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The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation has announced the appointment of Douglas Dreishpoon as Director of the Helen Frankenthaler Catalogue Raisonné, effective March 2017. Chief Curator Emeritus at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, Mr. Dreishpoon is an art historian, curator, author, and educator with special expertise in visual art from the mid- to late-twentieth century. In his new capacity, he will oversee the development and production of the catalogue raisonné of Helen Frankenthaler’s paintings, works on paper, and mediums other than prints*, for which he will additionally serve as Editor. He will work closely with the Foundation’s Executive Director, Elizabeth Smith.

Planning for the publication will begin once Mr. Dreishpoon has assumed his post; those interested in additional information should refer to the Foundation’s website,, where periodic updates will be posted.

Helen Frankenthaler (1928–2011), whose career spanned six decades, has long been recognized as one of the great American artists of the twentieth century. She was eminent among the second generation of postwar American abstract painters, and is widely credited for her pivotal role in the transition from Abstract Expressionism to Color Field painting. Through her invention of the soak-stain technique, she expanded the parameters of abstract painting, while at times referencing figuration and landscape in unique ways. She produced a body of work whose impact on contemporary art has been profound and continues to grow. Her work is represented in the collections of major museums worldwide, and has been the subject of numerous national and international exhibitions and substantial publications.

The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation was established and endowed by the artist during her lifetime and became active in 2013, on the closing of the artist’s estate. The Foundation supports the artist’s legacy through a variety of initiatives, including encouraging and facilitating significant exhibitions of Frankenthaler’s work, making grants in other areas of the visual arts, and now the publishing of a catalogue raisonné. Its holdings include an extensive selection of Frankenthaler’s work in a variety of mediums, her collection of works by other artists, and original papers and materials pertaining to her life and work.

Since 1998 Mr. Dreishpoon has held a succession of curatorial positions at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, one of North America’s oldest museums dedicated to the art of our time, culminating, in 2014, in Chief Curator Emeritus. He has additionally worked on numerous projects with artist-endowed foundations, including most recently as curatorial advisor to the Nancy Holt Estate, 2015–present. From 1995–98 he was Adjunct Assistant Professor and Curator of Collections for the Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, where he also served as Interim Director from 1997–98; from 1992–95 he was Curator of Contemporary Art at the Tampa Museum of Art.

During his tenure at the Albright-Knox Mr. Dreishpoon organized monographic exhibitions for painters and sculptors including Petah Coyne, Edwin Dickinson, Paul Feeley, Helen Frankenthaler, Guillermo Kuitca, Robert Mangold, and Ken Price. His essays, artist interviews, and reviews have appeared in such magazines and journals as Art in AmericaArt JournalARTnewsArchives of American Art Journal, and Sculpture. His book What is Sculpture? will be published in 2019 by the University of California Press, Berkeley, for the Documents of 20th-Century Art Series.

Douglas Dreishpoon holds a BA from Skidmore College, an MA from Tufts University, and a PhD from the Graduate School of the City University of New York, all in Art History. He is a former board member of the American Section of the International Association of Art Critics. In addition to his art-world credentials, he is a jazz drummer and percussionist.

*Frankenthaler: A Catalogue Raisonné, Prints 1961-1994, by Suzanne Boorsch and Pegram Harrison, was published in 1996 by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York. An addendum covering Frankenthaler’s work in prints from 1994 onward is planned as a future project

For additional information: info [​at​] / press [​at​]

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