One of the consolations of art is to give us the sense that we can know and not know, both at the same time. In paintings, we are given the chance to apprehend for ourselves life as a sensory offering. And simultaneously, in art's implacable presence we can be confronted with the ultimate, impersonal mystery of the world.
Christie Helm's paintings bring into relief the power of art to evoke a confluence of aesthetic pleasure and abstract rigor. This dichotomy is not simply a conceptual strategy. Rather, it constitutes the artist's stance in relation to lived experience – a way to deal with its complexity, coming to terms with it in a clarified way.
For the past decade Helm's paintings have dealt with rhythmic repetitions of vertical linear motifs. Coinciding with her moving to Brazil in 2012, Helm's work began to change decisively. A new, strict ordering emerged, along with a refined sense of color. Stripes of white and one or two colors seem to grow in expanding steps, only to be interrupted by wider bands and the initiation of a new sequence. There is an inherent musicality in these compositions, a sense of stricture and release, anticipation and fulfillment. This sense of ongoing possibility reached a culmination in Ode to Cadere.