At the dawn of the 1950s, a promising young painter named Helen Frankenthaler, fresh out of college, moved to New York City. By the decade’s end, she had succeeded in establishing herself as an important American artist of the postwar period. In the years in between, she made some of the most daring, head-turning paintings of her day and also came into her own as a woman: traveling the world, falling in and out of love, and engaging in an ongoing artistic education. She also experienced anew — and made her mark on — the city in which she had been raised in privilege as the daughter of a judge, even as she left the security of that world to pursue her artistic ambitions.
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