Flux @ Miller Yezerski Gallery

May 24, 2017

 

PRESS RELEASE

We are pleased to announce an exhibition of recent paintings by Rachel Hellmann. Flux is Rachel Hellmann’s second exhibition with Miller Yezerski Gallery. There will be an opening reception on Friday June 2, 5-8 pm.

Rachel Hellmann expands the concept of painting as a two-dimensional medium, creating works that function as objects. Her recent work is playful and sculptural, inviting the viewer to move their body to experience the piece in its entirety. Inspired by simple, folded objects like kites, sails, and origami, Hellmann crafts the planes of her paintings to take unexpected angles, forming unique relationships where their edges meet.

Her process is reminiscent of fitting together a puzzle: she cuts out polygonal shapes with cardboard and styrofoam and tests their different configurations until they are fitted just right. She then recreates these shapes with poplar wood, using techniques learned from her family of carpenters, crafting individual segments and then piecing them together with dowels, screws, and adhesives. Bright, geometric fields of color are painted on all sides, both adjacent and intersecting with the lines and shadows formed by the irregular surface. The artist “[uses] color and shape to enhance, and at times to alter, the viewer’s understanding of three-dimensionality of the piece.” Hellmann’s work fluctuates seamlessly between the illusion of depth and actual physical depth, rendering her solid wood pieces to appear weightless.

Rachel Hellmann received her M.F.A. from Boston University, and her B.F.A. from the University of Dayton, OH. She currently lives in Terre Haute, Indiana, working full-time on her art. Hellmann has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions, most recently in a group exhibition at Philip Slein Gallery in St. Louis, MO, and a solo exhibition at Elizabeth Houston Gallery in New York, NY. Her work is included in a number of collections, including the Addison Gallery of American Art and the University of Maine Museum of Art.