Helen Frankenthaler at Tyler Graphics

Helen Frankenthaler, Essence Mulberry, woodcut (courtesy Tyler Graphics)
Helen Frankenthaler, Essence Mulberry, woodcut (courtesy Tyler Graphics)

Kenneth Tyler remembers Helen Frankenthaler's groundbreaking printmaking work at Tyler Graphics. He not only fondly recalls working with Frankenthaler, but also describes in detail the collaborative process involved in creating her large-scale woodcut prints.

Tyler describes: "For the Genji and Madame Butterfly woodcuts, she made wonderful painted wood panels that were used as the guide for making the color woodcuts on colored handmade papers (made by John Hutcheson and Tom Strianese). Yasu [Shibata] carved the many blocks, closely collaborating with Helen on every nuance of carving and printing. For Radius and Freefall, she painted color paper pulp maquettes, splashing away in our paper mill. These studies were interpreted by Tom into numerous stencils, the stencils then employed to apply color pulp to handmade paper substrates. These lushly colored sheets were used for the woodcut editions."