Doubling the Cube
November 18 – December 30, 2017
This fall, Galleri Urbane welcomes back Rachel Hellmann for her second solo exhibition in Dallas.
Called Doubling the Cube, the exhibition title references an unsolvable, ancient geometric problem
that requires the use of only a compass and straightedge. The challenge behind the puzzle remains
fitting for Hellmann’s interests, who approaches her work through the blend of creative ingenuity
and meticulous problem solving that is involved with producing mathematical solutions.
The artist will present two ongoing bodies of work that aim to blur the distinction between painting
and sculpture. In the first series, Hellmann utilizes solid poplar wood to create folding, accordionlike
forms that protrude from the wall. In a process that requires acute precision and attention to
detail, cardboard and styrofoam maquettes are configured in the studio and ultimately finalized in
wood. Responding to the object’s geometric form, Hellman paints each sculpture with saturated hues
of hardedge color. The work’s origami-influenced structure casts shadows across its surface and onto
the wall, further enhanced by the painted lines of acrylic. The interaction between the naturally
occurring shadows and the applied surface geometry creates an alluring conversation between
physical and illusionistic space, inviting the viewer to investigate from all angles.
Complementing the sculptural objects will be a series of works on paper. Crisp, white paper serves as
the ground for colorful, geometric compositions that echo the shapes found in the works’ sculptural
counterparts. Floating on the flat, white picture plane, the angled shapes of color imply perspective
and depth. While reality presents the viewer with paint on a flat field, visual perception nonetheless
insists on vibrant objects that twist and fold in multiple dimensions. Altogether, the pieces in
Doubling the Cube provide viewers with engaging opportunities to consider each work as a visual
puzzle to be solved.
The public is invited to an opening reception for Doubling the Cube, taking place on Saturday,
November 18th from 6 – 8:30 PM at Galleri Urbane Dallas.
Rachel Hellmann lives and works in Terra Haute, Indiana. Her work has been exhibited in solo and
group shows in museums and galleries across the country and can be found in numerous private and
public collections, including that of the University of Maine Museum of Art and the William P.
Clements Jr. University Hospital on the campus of the UT Southwestern Medical Center. Recently
the recipient of an Individual Artist Grant by the Indiana Arts Commission, Hellmann has also
participated in many residencies around the nation. She has exhibited with Galleri Urbane since
2015, with a solo exhibit Quad Line in 2016.