Helène Aylon

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Helène Aylon
Pouring with Darkening Forms
Oil on paper mounted between Masonite and Plexiglas.
12 1/2 x 10 3/4 x 1 1/16 inches (31.8 x 27.3 x 2.7 cm)
Gift of the estate of Illene Burack.

Signed, dated, and titled on back of wood strainer: "1977 / Helène Aylon / Pouring with Darkening Forms" ʼ

Illene Burack, New York (from the artist); Joshua Burack (estate of Illene Burack, New York); gift to the Morgan.

Aylon is associated with the movement known as Process Art, which emphasizes the process of creation over the final work. She was also an active proponent of ecofeminism in the 1980s and after. This drawing belongs to a body of early work called "Pouring Formations," in which Aylon applied oil and other materials to the back of a sheet of paper, which she then compressed between Masonite and Plexiglas. The form emerges over time as the oil is absorbed into the paper, allowing the dark Masonite to show through. Though Aylon was able to anticipate her compositions to some extent, the element of chance was an important part of her process, and an aspect of her work that she associated with feminism.