Selected by Sandra Safta Waterhouse



Our featured artwork this week, Pandora's Box, is a multi-layered mixed media work by contemporary artist Danielle Frankenthal. Pandora's Box is comprised of three separate pieces  of Acrylite®, each a transparent ground for Frankenthal's gestural brush strokes and aluminum gilding. Altogether, these layers create an energetic and spontaneous composition which allude to the mythology of Pandora and the chaos that ensues by opening her infamous box.


The artist comments on this piece: “In Greek mythology, Pandora is the first human woman. Her myth, like the story of Eve, is called a theodicy, an explanation of evil in the world. Out of curiosity she opens the jar (box) and all the evil escapes to plague us till this day... I have always found blaming the evils of the world on women rather ironic if not tragic in its consequences. To me Pandora’s box is filled with the seeds of creativity and ideas”.


Danielle Frankenthal's works are about light, in all its valences: as the specific light in a work which is the color; light as the most humanly perceivable form of pure energy which allows us sight; and, in a broader context, light as the great spiritual metaphor. Her formalistic concerns are mark and color, as she uses both soft and expressive painterly motions. She paints on transparent Acrylite® layers, so that the paint on the front layer causes shadows on the layer behind and the shadows obviously move as the viewer moves.  


Frankenthal's work can be found in public and private collections throughout the United States, including Columbus Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Sloan Kettering Center in New York. She has had over 25 solo exhibitions since 1984 – both domestically and internationally, and she participated in numerous group shows held by museums and galleries in the US, Guatemala, and Switzerland.


To see more of her work, please visit her Artist page.


Danielle Frankenthal
Pandora's Box, 2014
Acrylic paint oil stick and aluminum gilding on acrylic panels
36 x 48 in / 91 x 122 cm
April 26, 2021