Classical For Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and Classical KC have joined forces to create a multi-sensory experience when viewing artwork in the museum's permanent collection. Take a listen!

Helen Frankenthaler’s 'Coral Wedge' // 'Valencia' by Caroline Shaw

Helen Frankenthaler's Coral Wedge
E.G. Schempf, 2018.
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Helen Frankenthaler (American, 1928-2011), Coral Wedge, 1972, acrylic paint on canvas, 81¾ x 46⅝ inches, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri, Bebe and Crosby Kemper Collection, Gift of the Enid and Crosby Kemper Foundation, 1995.032.01. © 2015 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Coral, tangerine, amber, saffron - all of these words are used to describe different shades of the color orange. In Helen Frankenthaler’s “Coral Wedge,” you can see the variations of orange on the canvas. This was created by her own "soak-stain" technique, where she poured thinned paint onto canvas, producing luminous color washes that appear to merge with the canvas. Beyond color, what shapes or imagery come to mind?

If you see an orange (the fruit) when looking at “Coral Wedge,” what do you associate with it? Its juiciness? The dimpled surface of the peel? Perhaps the semi circles that emerge as you peel it open. Caroline Shaw’s “Valencia” explores the intricacies of an object that is seemingly simple on the surface. When you listen, hear how the repeated patterns played by the string quartet morph and change - at moments sparkling like freshly squeezed orange juice, and at other times harsh like a hand plucking the fruit from a tree.

Want to explore more music inspired by art from 'Beyond Ninth Street: Legacies of Women in Abstraction?' Listen to our Spotify playlist for full pieces.

Find more information about 'Beyond Ninth Street: Legacies of Women in Abstraction' on the Kemper's website.

You can find out more about Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art at

View the full Kemper Museum Permanent Collection here.