Helène Aylon

Helène Aylon
Sparkling Firmament
Oil on paper, mounted between Masonite and Plexiglas.
12 5/8 x 23 x 1 inches (32.1 x 58.4 x 2.5 cm)
Gift of an anonymous donor.
© Helène Aylon / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Aylon is associated with the 1970s movement called Process Art for its emphasis on the physical act of creation over the final result. Her art is also influenced by her activities as an ecofeminist. Among her earliest mature works, Sparkling Firmament is part of a group she refers to as "Paintings that Change in Time." She created them by applying linseed oil and other materials to the back of a sheet of paper, which she mounted to Masonite and sealed behind Plexiglas. Like other artists working in the early 1970s, such as Dorothea Rockburne and Michelle Stuart, Aylon was interested in ceding control to the materials themselves, watching with fascination as the oil penetrated the paper, creating unexpectedly beautiful patterns, hues, and, in this work, air pockets that make the paper appear to shimmer.