PASTELS by Helga S. Orthofer

Posted by Lauren Clark on

architecture, cityscapes, landscapes, portraits.

May 26, 2012 – Jul 8, 2012

by Helga S. Orthofer, May 24-July 8

Reception for the Artist, Saturday, May 26, 4-7pm

As an artist, Helga S. Orthofer has been dividing her time between New York City and Stockbridge, Massachusetts for over twenty-five years. In reviewing her artwork, one can feel these fluctuations between the city and country; between the colorful bravado of her series on Fire Hydrants, for example, and the soulful light lingering on the side of her sylvan White Barns.

Ms. Orthofer has played with space and light all her life, exploring the realism of representational painting as well as the transcendental nature of abstracted shapes shifting across a flattened plane. Inspired by artists as diverse as Chardin, Cezanne, Morandi, Hopper and O’Keefe, she stands very still observing the world with paint or pastel at hand, creating lush blue shadows or turquoise skies to express the mood of the light she strives to convey.

While there are no people inhabiting her settings, the artist fondly refers to her still life paintings as “portraits.” Indeed, this is a true and telling description of her work, for it seems that Ms. Orthofer is aiming to portray the intimacy of a familiar, or even ordinary, object or scene. Her sensitivity to color and form is remarkable, but it is the depth and coloration of her light that lingers with such a profound emotional resonance.

Whether it is the simple spatial elegance of a barn, a shapely ceramic jar, a vibrant fire hydrant or a solitary street at dusk, the artist is inspired by the surfeit of beauty she sees. And she inspires us in turn, with her personal, playful and poetic reflections of the world.

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