The Tidy Behaviour of Matter
28 Jun – 22 Jul 2023
“These works embrace the agency of paint itself, and seem to revel in both its liquid viscosity and its tactile plasticity. Calder’s process suggests a constant state of entanglement or negotiation in which she is working both with and against the material itself. Petra Lange-Berndt has pointed out that ‘from a critical perspective, the term ‘material’ describes not prime matter but substances that are always subject to change, be it through handling, interaction with their surroundings, or the dynamic life of their chemical reactions’. To speak of ‘material’ is thus to speak of substances that are vibrant, mutable, and responsive. Certainly this is a way of thinking and working with paint that underpins Calder’s practice”.
Barbara Garrie, 2023
“Helen Calder makes three-dimensional paintings that investigate the interface of painting and sculpture. Her painting explores the limits of the medium offering a direct physical engagement with the materiality of paint, its weight, tactility and malleability and colour. These paint-skins, as she calls them, hang in space – free to flutter and move. Concern with colour, form and how painting operates in space when freed of its traditional support on canvas and stretcher is at the heart of Helen Calder’s practice”. Alison Bartley
Based in Christchurch, Helen graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Canterbury in 2003. Her thesis on painting’s relationship with architecture has shaped her practice which sees architectural space as a frame for her work. Her work is held in private and public collections including the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the Christchurch Art Gallery, the Chartwell Collection, the Fletcher Trust Collection and Simpson Grierson Collection.
Recent exhibitions include Kaleidescope: Abstract Aotearoa, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2018, Qualia 760-620 λ, Enjoy Public Gallery, Wellington, 2014, Burster Flipper Wobbler Dripper Spinner Stacker Shaker Maker, curated by Justin Paton and Felicity Milburn, Christchurch Art Gallery, 2014; and Unpainted, Blue Oyster Gallery, Dunedin 2014.