Helen Pashgian

(b. 1934)

About The Artist

Helen Pashgian was a pioneer in the Light and Space movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Primarily working in sculpture, Pashgian is known for her experimentation with industrial materials such as fiberglass, resins, plastics, and coated glass. She is perhaps best known for her small, translucent objects which are often orb-like or diamond-shaped with luminous colors and highly finished surfaces. Her works have been considered alongside other important Light and Space artists such as Mary Corse, James Turrell, and Craig Kauffman.

Pashgian studied and completed her undergraduate degree at Pomona College in 1956 before heading to Boston University for her master’s degree. In the 1960s, she returned to the Los Angeles area and joined a number of like-minded artists in exploring the artistic possibilities of industrial materials. The physicality of each of her works morphs as the viewer moves around it, with the subtleties of its form dissipating and manifesting in different ways according to varying angles of light.

Helen Pashgian was an artist in residence at the California Institute of Technology from 1970 to 1971, and she received a National Endowment of the Arts Individual Artist Grant in 1986. In 2013, she was a recipient of the MOCA’s Award to Distinguished Women in the Arts. Major exhibitions featuring her work include Pacific Standard Time: Cross Currents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970 at The Getty Center, and Pacific Standard Time: Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface at The Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. During the spring of 2014, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art held a major solo exhibition of her work entitled, Helen Pashgian: Light Invisible.

“Helen Pashgian.” Art.sy. Art.sy, n.d. Web. 11 Jun. 2018.

“Helen Pashgian.” Pacific Standard Time at The Getty Center. Edited by The Getty Center. The Getty Center, n.d. Web. 11 Jun. 2018.

“Helen Pashgian: Light Invisible.” LACMA. Edited by LACMA. LACMA, n.d. Web. 11 Jun. 2018.

“Helen Pashgian.” Ace Gallery. Edited by Ace Gallery. Ace Gallery, n.d. Web. 11 Jun. 2018.