July 8 – August 13, 2017
"Right Here, Right Now: Helen Shulman & Walter Horak"
“Developing a relationship with a painting, like a friendship, starts from the outside and works in.” – Helen Shulman
At a time when it seems almost impossible to disconnect from the constant bombardment of stimuli in our day-to-day lives – to unplug, logout, and go offline – Helen Shulman’s paintings and Walter Horak’s sculptures invite us to press pause, if only for a moment. With an artistic philosophy related to her professional experience as a psychotherapist, painter Helen Shulman acknowledges the powerful positive effects of allowing oneself to be briefly removed from external demands, encouraging viewers to turn that energy and focus inward instead. Helen’s atmospheric abstract landscapes beg viewers to linger, first luring them in with hints of a horizon line, visibly overlapping layers of paint, and legible fragments of numbers and text. She then sands, scrapes, and scratches into that heavily textured surface to create contemplative spaces amidst the action. These quiet retreats invite viewers to take a deep breath, drop their shoulders, and shift their gaze internally.
Exhibited in conversation with Helen’s paintings, Walter Horak’s bronze figurative sculptures remind us that presence of mind is not an inherently solitary pursuit. The structural integrity of Walter’s gravity defying, elegantly choreographed figurative sculptures relies quiet literally on each individual’s ability to support another. Using the human figure to create “metaphors in three dimensions,” Walter’s acrobatic formations are testaments to the positive power of community and significance of human connection. Whether peacefully lost in thought or engaged in conversation with a friend, the artists in this exhibition bid us to tune out the noise and be, right here, right now.