Spirit Lines: Helen Hardin Etchings
Through March 6, 2016
This exhibit displays a complete body of work by one of the 20th century’s most significant artists. Spirit Lines: Helen Hardin Etchings features all 23 first editions of the Santa Clara Pueblo artist’s collection of copper plate etchings completed by the artist from 1980 to 1984. This is the first time this body of work has been assembled and shown in its entirety.
Helen Hardin (1943 – 1984) was the daughter of artist Pablita Velarde (1918 – 2006) from the Santa Clara Pueblo near Albuquerque, New Mexico. Shortly after birth Hardin was given the name Tsa-Sah-Wee-Eh, meaning Little Standing Spruce, in the Tewa language. As Helen’s father was Anglo, she was unable to participate in Pueblo ceremonies. Unlike her mother, who painted scenes of traditional Pueblo life, Hardin chose to interpret images of ancient pottery and rock art designs into contemporary, abstracted, highly individualized compositions. With the use of repeated geometric forms and layering techniques, viewers obtain a sense of introspect into a woman artist whose work is divided between traditional and modern worlds. Through her groundbreaking career, Hardin created avenues for other Native women to break from traditionalism.