Helen Frankenthaler was born in New York and studied in New York and at the Art Students' League in Vermont. She became associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement and was particularly influenced by Jackson Pollock. Her painting Mountains and Sea, made when she was just twenty-three years old, confirmed her reputation as a 'Colour Stain' painter. Laying an unprimed canvas on the floor, Frankenthaler used translucent washes of thinned-down paint to create luminous and sensuous abstract paintings. The paint penetrated the weave of the canvas to create a perfectly flat painting. Frankenthaler was one of the first artists to experiment with this technique.