In 1952, at the age of twenty-three, Helen Frankenthaler created her legendary painting Mountains and Sea. Comprised of translucent washes of thinned-down pigment embedded in unprimed canvas, this large-scale painting was the first in which she used her soak-stain technique. Frankenthaler's mixture of oil and turpentine or kerosene, which she poured directly onto an unprimed canvas, seeped into and through the raw cotton fibers, evoking a sense of openness and atmospheric space without relying on traditional illusionism. Published on the occasion of an exhibition organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, this book explores Frankenthaler's artistic maturation, from the groundbreaking achievement of Mountains and Sea to the extraordinary paintings created from 1956 through 1959. Beautifully illustrated with full-color reproductions of Frankenthaler's luminous works, this elegant volume offers a conversation between the artist and Julia Brown, Curator of Special Exhibitions, revealing Frankenthaler's artistic process and the influences that inspired her; an essay by Susan Cross, Curatorial Assistant, providing a broader historical perspective on Frankenthaler's contribution to a pivotal period in art history; and a poetic tribute by Brown to Frankenthaler's work.