White Columns

White Room Helen Rae

White Columns is proud to present the first New York solo exhibition by the Los Angeles-based artist Helen Rae (b. 1940). This will be only Rae's second solo exhibition, following her widely acclaimed 2016 Los Angeles debut at The Good Luck Gallery.

Writing about Rae’s debut in the The Los Angeles Times, critic David Pagel observed: “The electrifying energy that pulses through her pictures gives form to a cosmos that is not anthropocentric. Humanists might be terrified by this perspective. It flies in the face of everything egotists live for. But it’s also thrilling. In the 18th century, philosophers described the combination of excitement and terror as sublime. Today, that term has fallen out of fashion. But it captures the alien beauty of Rae’s art. Her drawings have their roots in fashion magazines. She tears out full-page spreads and uses a pencil to roughly sketch their contours on sheets of paper. She then sets to work with colored pencils. Rae draws like she means it. Her colors are saturated and dense. Her lines decisive. The scarcity of shading gives her images uncompromising intensity. Her laser focus is vivid in the abundance of detail, particularly in the complex patterns of the fabrics she selects and edits, judiciously simplifying some elements and making others more complex, irregular, mind-blowing. Rae flattens volumes, collapses space and fractures planes in ways that make Picasso’s Cubism seem amateurish. So convincing is her vision of things that after looking at four or five drawings you feel like an alien — out of place in a world that shares significant features with everyday reality but is charged with a kind of sizzling energy that is both exhausting and intoxicating.”

Rae’s exhibition at White Columns will consist of a recent group of Rae’s dense, fragmentary colored pencil drawings produced over the past eighteen months, each derived and developed from a photographic image sourced from contemporary fashion magazines, including a series of six, based on a fashion editorial story featuring the singer and performer Rihanna.

Helen Rae is affiliated with First Street Gallery & Art Center, Claremont, CA, a studio and gallery program that supports a community of artists living and working with mental and developmental disabilities. Over the past twelve years White Columns has collaborated extensively with centers nationally and internationally that support the work of artists with disabilities, presenting the work of artists affiliated with these programs in individual and collective projects in New York and elsewhere. To learn more about First Street, visit: www.tierradelsol.org/programs/1st-street-gallery-art-center/

We would like to thank everyone at First Street Gallery Art Center, Claremont, CA; the Tierra del Sol Foundation; Paige Wery and Phoebe Millerwhite at The Good Luck Gallery, Los Angles; and Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg for their enthusiasm and support of White Columns’ presentation of Helen Rae’s work in New York.

For further information about this exhibition contact: info@whitecolumns.org            

Exhibition Checklist

Related Press

Helen Rae_Time Out_9.5.17 (online)

Helen Rae_Time Out_9.6.17 (print)

Helen Rae_NY Magazine_9.19.17 (online)

Helen Rae_Disparate Minds_10.3.17 (online)