Galleri Urbane welcomes back Indiana artist Rachel Hellmann for a solo show, The Shape of Color, featuring fluorescent-painted relief sculptures, paintings, and an analogous mural. This body of work echoes her recent paintings and installation at the Rockwell Museum (Rockwell, NY), Leaning Toward the Sun, which will be up through March 2023. These pieces provoke ephemeral conversations of light and assumed dimensionality between various mediums.
Hellmann employs rare bioluminescent colors found in the natural world with the exactitude of architectural forms in her sculptures. The contradictory influences contest conventional understandings of form and color and therefore “choreograph relationships between and among the pieces,” Hellmann said of this new body of work.
Paintings on paper directly correlate to the sculptures, stretching Hellmann’s examination of color into the tangible. Thoughtfully planned and redrawn, she will show paintings up to 52 x 52 in, her largest works on paper yet. These studies on paper deceive dimensions in the absence of physical depth.
Using poplar wood and MDF, the artist bends individual segments into architectural forms, which she then joins with adhesives. Following her highly intuitive process, Hellmann paints “shapes of color.” Floating with a luminescent halo, the sculptures fold away from the wall. Contrasting hues exhibit subtle illusions of indiscernible depth.
Parallel Gleam (2022) is a shaped painting of white and highly-pigmented chartreuse acrylic on wood with a perceived luminescence from behind, made from reflective paint—without any use of light. The colors quietly perform beyond physical shape, utilizing shadows and filtering light into a moment.
In her pursuit to blur the line between painting and sculpture, Hellmann works intuitively, finding a flow between her agents. This process creates movement in and between the mind-bending pieces.
Hellmann has been an artist at Galleri Urbane since 2016 and recently showed Dimensions in Space at Saenger Galeria in Mexico City. She was an Artist-in-Residence at Corning Museum of Glass, March 15-17.
Rachel Hellmann MFA, Painting, Boston University and BFA, University of Dayton. She has had solo exhibitions at Elizabeth Houston Gallery, NY, NY, Miller Yezerski Gallery, Boston, MA, University of Maine Museum of Art in Bangor, ME and the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA. Hellmann was the recipient of the Blanche E. Colman and Constatin Alajalov (Boston University) awards and residencies at the Ragdale Foundation in Forest Park, IL, Platte Clove Preserve, Catskills, NY and Playa in Eastern Oregon. She was published in New American Paintings vol 113. Hellmann was Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing at Northern Essex Community College from 2008 - 2013 when she relocated to Terre Haute, IN to work full-time as an artist. She taught at Mount Ida College, School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Bunker Hill Community College and has been a visiting artist at many colleges including: MassArt, Boston, MA; Dartmouth College; Whittier College; Ann Arundel Community College; Ball State University, and Rhode Island School of Design