Helen Altman - clear view

Helen Altman: clear view

June 8 – July 27, 2013


Within Altman’s artwork, the artist expresses a profound respect for nature and her interest in capturing minute details based on close observation. These qualities are perceived not only in Altman’s torch drawings, but also in her wire bird sculptures, tree paintings, and installation pieces. Though sculpted from wire, every wing and gesture of Altman’s bird sculptures are lifelike translations of the appearance and behavior of real birds. For her exhibition at the gallery, Helen has created a site-specific installation of six birds perched on branches of manzanita wood, some ready to fly away and others balancing peacefully on their perches.

The exhibition will also present Helen’s acrylic paintings on paper of majestic trees.  Based on images from field guides from the 1930s and 1940s, Altman’s tree paintings are another manifestation of her interest in capturing the natural world, this time in an indirect manner that references the science of cataloguing nature.  Within Fig. 187 – California Black Oak, Helen portrays the tree in subtle shades of hunter green, all of its various details creating a stunning rendering of the natural form in its sublime beauty.

Altman earned a B.F.A. degree from the University of Alabama in 1981 and an M.A. degree from the same institution in 1986. Altman then entered the graduate program at the University of North Texas in Denton and earned her M.F.A. degree in 1989.  Altman's artwork can be viewed in public and private collections around the country, including the Dallas Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, the Kohler Arts Center in Wisconsin, and the Grace Museum in Abilene, Texas. The artist is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Engelhard Award and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Altman currently lives and works in Fort Worth, Texas.