Spirit Lines:Helen Hardin Etchings
Helen Hardin (1943–1984) was a significant Native American artist during her lifetime and created avenues for other Native women to break from traditionalism. Although she was influenced early on by the painting of her mother, Pablita Velarde, Hardin wished to break free and create her own style, which became a melding of Native American motifs with modernist geometric abstraction. Spirit Lines presents the entire set of twenty-three copper-plate etchings that she produced in the early 1980s. This series features the first impression from each etching edition, prints that have previously rarely been seen or traveled.
Hardin was born to an Anglo father and Santa Clara Pueblo mother. She studied the art and design of her Native American heritage and was fascinated by the geometric images created by prehistoric peoples. This exhibition exemplifies Hardin’s artistic abilities to absorb yet transcend traditional designs and create an individual style of relevant, modern works, which for her were spiritual expressions looking back both to her Roman catholic upbringing and her Native background.
In order to contextualize Hardin’s work and the inspiration she found in the art of her Native American heritage, the exhibition will include several loans of pottery and other objects from the El Paso Museum of Archaeology.