George Billis Gallery Los Angeles opens Bonita Helmer: The Unseen Structure on Saturday, February 20, 2010 with an artist reception on Saturday, February 27th from 5 to 8pm. The survey of Helmer's work features selected paintings from the last ten years. The exhibition continues through April 10, 2010.
"Hardly a newcomer, Bonita Helmer has been working seriously since the 1980s when, in L.A.'s lively Neo-Exp atmosphere, she exhibited finely tooled gestural works that have become her primary creative interest.
Deeply schooled in everything from classical drawing to Zen Buddhism, from Kabbalah and New Physics to Jungian analysis, Helmer has exhibited nationally and internationally, worked in Paris and taught the exigencies of pigment and color, of finding an inner symbolic voice to countless college students. The artist numbers among her formative influences respected local painters and international luminaries like Francois Gilot who (though remembered by pop culture as the sole survivor of Picasso) is herself a rigorously trained painter and the artist's friend and peer.
Helmer indeed proves that with incredibly few abstract elements - texture, hue, chroma, edge, expanse--she can put us in mind of extremely complex ideas, ideas about matter and void, about the ineffable interchange between these. These are ideas/perceptions at the core our daily awareness of reality, basic to our notions of horizon, to our bodily awareness of scale, gravity, place and time." -Marlena Doktorczyk-Donahue
Raised in Los Angeles, Helmer received her BA in Painting from UCLA in 1976 and did graduate work at Otis College of Art and Design and studied with Francois Gilot.Â Helmer currently teaches at Otis and has exhibited nationally and internationally, including the Espace Bateau Lavoir in Paris, Track 16, (2004), and The Orange County Museum of Art (1984). Her work has been reviewed in Art in America, The Los Angeles Times, and The California Art Review among others.Â She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.