Artist: Helen Werner Cox
Exhibition: Silent Screams
Media: Oil paint, pastel, Water-based materials: crayons and color pencils
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Instagram: no Instagram
This week in Art110 I got to see the work of an artists by the name of Helen Werner Cox. Helen was born just outside of New York in the country. She lived there until she moved to California in her later years. Helen is a graduate student of Cal State Long Beach and is studying in the drawing and painting program. Helen likes to read and do puzzles when she is not working on art. When asked, Helen says that her artwork focuses around the idea of society being trapped in the same circle. She believes that we are constantly going around like a carousel, never changing and making the same mistakes as we did before.
When viewing Helen’s artwork you can see her consistent use of painting and drawing as the medium for her pieces. She uses a lot of color within her pieces. She seems to use every color of the rainbow. These colors give off a lively feel to her pieces. The lines used within her pieces are geometric as well as organic. The organic lines applying to the animals used in her piece and the geometric lines applying to the background behind the animals. The lines and colors used in her artwork make it so the viewer feels like the art piece is “moving” and active. The way in which her shapes are formed give off a clean feeling rather than a staccato. The main shapes used throughout her artwork are carousels and horses. These shapes replicate reality and contain only a little distortion, if any.
Looking at the title of Helen’s exhibit (Silent Screams) you can really read into the commentary she is trying to make on society. Silent Screams evokes the idea that something it happening to us that we can not break free of or even address fully. When representing this with a carousel Helen gives her audience the ability to meditate on the idea that our society is not progressing. Rather we are just continuously going in a circle and that no advancements are being made. This is a very bleak way to look at society but I can definitely identity with this belief. This circle is mainly tied to human emotion. We constantly have the same emotional problems in our society and we do nothing to move to a higher state. Instead we surround ourselves with things that dig our emotional hole deeper and give us bad crutches to lean on. The reason for why Helen uses the form of a horse on her carousels is because the horse is a very strong creature. This fact is possibly a commentary on how humanity has the ability to break free and yet still we continue in this circle. This gives off a feeling of frustration and this feeling is definitely evoked throughout her art pieces.
I loved viewing Helen’s artwork. Her commentary on society was very eye opening and gave her audiences the ability to really meditate on a issue that is important. I love when exhibits put lights on a problem in society that we need to recognize. I definitely recognize this problem and share Helen’s frustration. I wish her the best with her future in art and hope to see an exhibit of hers again! (: