Helen Altman addresses themes of ephemerality, imperfection, and destruction within poignant images of flora and fauna. A native Alabaman, Altman holds a deep appreciation of the natural world. Although her body of work incorporates a variety of media, including photography, drawing, sculpture, assemblage, and textiles, the artist’s distinct, often humorous voice is consistently present. In her recognized torch-drawing technique, Altman uses a hand-held torch to burn images of animals on white paper. These drawings range from delicately beautiful depictions of waterbirds to more comical portrayals of long-horn steers, goats, and elk.
Altman received her BFA in 1981 and her MA in 1986, both from the University of Alabama, followed by her MFA in 1989, from the University of North Texas. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art, the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, and the Dallas Museum of Art. She has participated in numerous museum exhibitions throughout her career including solo exhibitions at the Tyler Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; the Glassell School of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Grace Museum, Abilene. She currently lives and works in Fort Worth, Texas.