Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File, Associated Press
FILE - In this April 22, 2002 file photo, President George W. Bush poses with painter Helen Frankenthaler, from Darien, Conn., during the National Endowment for the Arts National Medal of Arts Awards ceremony at Constitution Hall in Washington. Frankenthaler died Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011 at her home in Darien. She was 83.

NEW YORK — Helen Frankenthaler, an abstract painter known for her lyrical use of color and her stained-canvas method who led a postwar art movement that would be termed Color Field painting, has died. She was 83.

Clifford Ross, Frankenthaler's nephew, says his aunt died Tuesday following a long illness at her home in Darien, Conn.

One of her most famous works is "Mountains and Sea," a 1952 painting on show at the National Gallery of Art, which she created by pouring thinned paint directly onto raw, unprimed canvas laid on the studio floor.

Her abstract style helped American art make the transition from Abstract Expressionism to Color Field painting and influenced such artists as Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland.

She was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2002.