Monday, October 13, 2014

Hear Me - the art of Helena Almeida

Well, hello there.
Chantal Akerman was next on the list of artists represented in the show WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution in 2007.

I know.  I said I'd be talking about all the artists that were represented at the show.  However, she is a filmmaker and, while I do think film making is (or can be) art, it is not the type of artist that I wish to discuss in my blog because it is a whole huge wonderful topic in and of itself...and it is, in many ways, a bit of a different business type in the art world.

If you want to read more about Chantal Akerman you might read this microsite webpage published by the Vancouver Art Gallery.

So, after Chantal Akerman, next on the list of artists is Helena Almeida, who is Portuguese and uses the images of herself, or parts of herself, in photographs to create her art.

She started painting in art school and had this issue with the 2 dimensionality of canvas.  It was too limited for her and she responded to that limitation by using photographic images in very imaginative ways.  She is in all of her artworks but not as "herself" but rather as part of the composition itself.

The simplicity of most of the imagery is a fantasy approaching inkblots sometimes.  There is color sometimes, but mostly her work is black and white.  The format of these is very large.


My favorite written words about this artist were found on the Helga de Alvear Gallery   website:
The importance of Helena Almeida's oeuvre lies in the fact that it is impossible to confine the formal traits of her personal language within the fixed bounds of artistic disciplines and classifying labels. While it is true that the Portuguese artist expresses herself chiefly through photography—usually in a large-scale format and a sober black and white, and a sophisticated economy of compositional elements, the truth is that the photographic shot—taken by her husband Artur Rosa, is the last act in a long and rigorous work process involving a large number of preparatory drawings, diagrams and video recordings.

In point of fact her approach to the work of art is characterized by a complex plastic conception born out of an intimate desire to express herself in a “spatial” order—i.e., a need to transcend the limits of the picture. Photography, painting, drawing and performance come together in the unified field of self-representation, where Almeida's body becomes the instrument used to intervene, communicate and create space—both pictorial and architectural—in phenomenological terms.
Phenome.... ?? ..menological ??  What?
I hope you are enjoying the beginning of the week as much as I am on this sunny fall day.
'Til tomorrow!