Helen Frankenthaler and Alexander Lieberman

Hotel Regina Isabella
Ischia
Helen Frankenthaler
Helen Frankenthaler and Cristiana Ramsey Pergola

When we arrived in Ischia, we met Alexander Liberman with his wife, Tatiana. This important American sculptor had been one of the founders of the Condé Nast publishing house, the owner of Vogue magazine among others, and was still at that time one of its major figures.

We had already arranged an appointment that winter and it was not difficult to install a small studio in the Hotel Regina Isabella where they were staying.  

We occupied, for some technical procedures, a part of the large kitchen of the Hotel whose management generously and curiously offered to collaborate with our oddities.

The copper plates entered the oven and came out together with biscuits, cakes and other kinds of food, initially with mistrust on the part of the cooks, then with increasing curiosity and interest.

A series of etchings emerged from that meeting, full of dynamism and an immediacy that we would probably never be able to repeat in the works we did in Rome over the following years.

The way of setting up, and perhaps desecrating, the work of the printer there was certainly seen as a positive challenge by Helen Frankenthaler... who, in those days, was Alexander's guest in Ischia. Helen suggested us a printmaking experience with her in Rome in September, before her return to New York. Perhaps she thought she was involved in a situation similar to the one Alexander experienced.


Valter Rossi