Helen Pashgian is a pioneer of the 1960s Light and Space movement in Southern California. Over the course of her career, Pashgian has produced a significant series of sculptures comprised of vibrantly colored columns, discs, and spheres that often feature an isolated element appearing suspended, embedded, or encased within. Using an innovative application of industrial epoxies, plastics, and resins, Pashgian’s works are characterized by their semi-translucent surfaces that appear to filter and somehow contain illumination. For Pashgian, she thinks of her works as “presences” in space—presences that do not reveal everything at once.
Trained as an art historian with a focus on seventeenth-century Dutch art, Pashgian’s reverence for painter Johannes Vermeer has been fundamental to her longstanding interest in the effects and perception of light. While she has gravitated towards experimenting with non-traditional materials, her primary concern has always been to maintain light as the object and subject of her work. For the artist, light is not simply a metaphor, symbol, or allegory; light itself is both the medium and the message.
The exhibition will consist of a new site-specific work created in honor of the opening of the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College.