Exhibition | Bonita Helmer: Change in Velocity | Contemporary Art at George Billis Gallery LA | LOS ANGELES | Art Week

Bonita Helmer: Change in Velocity

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Saturday, 20 November 2021 to Saturday, 1 January 2022
Saturday, 20 November 2021 - 3:00pm

GBGLA is pleased to present Bonita Helmer: Change in Velocity, the gallery’s seventh solo exhibition of the Los Angeles based painter’s work.  The exhibition features the newest body of work focused on the concept of change and continues through January 1st, 2022.

Artists are visionaries and have an uncanny awareness of societal undercurrents before the rest of the world is aware of them.  Helmer’s last series, In the Midst of Chaos (2018), was a response to so much upheaval and discord in the world. Her current series, Change in Velocity (2021), is a response to, and the product of, the enormous upheaval of the last two years.  From the vantage point of hindsight, Helmer’s work has an almost eerily prescient view of the world.  We were descending into a level of chaos that even artists could not have predicted.  We find ourselves now, coming out of the chaos, but with the knowledge that things must change in order for humanity to move forward.

The triangle is a powerful symbol across disciplines - both scientific and spiritual.  On a spiritual level, the triangle is connected to the highly symbolic number 3 and represents balance, the connection between mind, body and spirit, but also the desire for transcendence.  In physics, the triangle, Delta (Greek alphabet - Δ) means change.  Helmer found herself drawn to this form - both for its visual form and for what it represents - although triangles are not new in her work - they’ve been haunting the corners for many years.  But during these recent difficult years, the triangle and all it represents has come to the forefront in her compositions.  Juxtaposed against grounds that reference the macro (or the micro) universe, these forms are no longer grounded as they were in previous bodies of work, but float in space - they are free to guide the viewer into the depths of her paintings.

This new body of work speaks to how artists sense things in the universe.  It speaks to the changes so necessary now - some forced by the pandemic and some by choice for humanity to do better.  These paintings symbolizes the movement towards the light and spirit, and represents the journey humanity is on during this time of change.

Bonita Helmer received her BFA (Painting) from UCLA  and Antioch University and did graduate work at Otis College of Art and Design.  During graduate work at Otis, Helmer worked with Mitsumi Kanemitsu who became a strong influence in the use of abstraction in painting.  Helmer also met and studied with Francoise Gilot at University of Southern California/Idyllwild campus. Gilot introduced Helmer to the use of universal symbol in art.  Helmer was also inspired by a friendship with Dr. Jonas Salk who brought her an awareness of the relationship between science and art. Helmer studied the origins of the universe, physics, and astronomy at UCLA and continues her personal research into physics and mystical studies to this day.

Helmer’s work has been exhibited internationally including exhibitions at the Jerusalem Biennial; Museum Sonderjylland, Denmark; Kunstraum F200 galerie, Philip Johnston Bl. Berlin; MOCA, Beijing; a solo show at L’Espace Bateau Lavoir,  L’Ecole des Arts Decoratifs in Paris; an official adjunct show as part of the MOCA Los Angeles, Whack retrospective of Women in Art; International Space Conference in Washington, DC.; Newport Harbor Art Museum (Orange County Museum of Art); Gallery Q, Tokyo; French Consulate/Alliance Francaise, Los Angeles; UCLA Dortort Center for the Arts, HUC Museum, NYU campus; Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA).  Helmer has also done paintings as set design for performance pieces, one co-produced by CalArts and the other in part by an NEA grant.  In 2014 Helmer was invited to be on the board of the Exploration Institute which brings together astronauts, physicists, underwater researchers and more. She is the only "visual explorer" in the group of 35 participants. Helmer taught at Otis College Art and Design from 1998-2019.  She lives and works in Los Angeles.

Curator :

Venue ( Address ): 

2716 S La Cienega Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90034

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