About Jane Helslander
Getting inside a Jane Helslander painting is an experience
that transcends such academic parameters as perspective & transparency.
Helslander’s surfaces may be planar, her mediums opaque, & her compositions
unrelated to perspective, yet her paintings almost drag one into them &
compel one to dance with them. The overriding impression is that one is
being involved, surrounded, & moved.
Asymmetric flow is at the heart of every image. Circular
forms wheel & turn, overlap & fly apart in response to alternating centrifugal
& magnetic forces. They project a dynamic balance that is poised to let them
swoop & topple & spin before they once again ease into equilibrium.
Helslander’s inspiration is the ceaseless drift & flux of nature in all
its forms. She spends a great deal of time quietly observing phenomena that
range from the ripples in a pool of water to the near-immobility of rock
formations; from snowstorms, swirling in the light of street lamps, to the
calm of distant horizons. Her art gets deeply into the clockwork of nature’s
organic machinery; it is concerned with the chemical strings that make up all
matter, & it tracks the random patterns that keep the world in constant
motion. It amplifies the organ-grinder tunes of daily existence, & it picks
up the faintest whisper of life at a cellular level.
These ideas do not make themselves immediately apparent. Rather,
they emerge a little at a time over the course of an hour or a lifetime. Each
canvas can be enjoyed solely for its emotional beauty, but each rewards
further thought as well. Helslander is an educated artist who studies
constantly & is mindful of the influence of the great art of the past, &
she incorporates universal concerns into the most abstract frameworks. She
holds an MFA & teaches art at the university level, & she has exhibited
her work in museum invitational exhibitions as well as in top galleries
& regional shows. Among her honors are commissions from Neiman-Marcus &
from the new Terminal D at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. For that
commission, she created a thirty foot floor mosaic in a round format.
To stand on it is to experience the sensation of walking on water &
creating ripples – a pleasant & sensual preface to boarding an
aircraft & taking flight.
Helslander’s lays down a symphony of circles & then adds & subtracts
elements until the image resolves itself. An admitted audiophile, she attends
concerts & jazz performances, relishing the interaction between musicians.
She can almost see the sound patterns that radiate outward, & she relishes
the electricity that the audience absorbs. The notes that register on her
ear are translated onto canvas as marks that loop & overlap, appear &
disappear, & resound with Doppler echoes.
Helslander’s process uncovers layer after layer of kinetic inference, a
phenomenon she refers to as “field presence.” With hypnotic energy & vibrant
authority, these works lead the viewer to discover circles within circles,
the beating pulse of nature, the thing within the thing.
Helslander’s works have been exhibited at the Longview Museum, the
Arlington Museum of Art, the Waco Art Center, the Haggar Gallery at the
University of Dallas, the Moudy Gallery at Texas Christian University, &
The Gallery at UTA. Michael Lash, Director of Public Arts for Chicago,
chose Helslander for inclusion in New American Paintings.