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Artist Name

Amy van Helden

Born: 1956

Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Based in: San Isidro, Argentina

Amy van Helden is an American artist and a resident of Argentina for the past 25 years. She obtained a BFA degree with a concentration in painting and printmaking from the University of Michigan in 1979. She had her first individual art show in 1991 at the Luigi Marrozzini Gallery in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she lived for 11 years before moving to Argentina in 1997. Amy van Helden has had individual art shows in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and has participated in many group shows and art fairs. In the year 2013 she was awarded a Pollock-Krasner foundation grant. In 2012 she received the Arte Espacio prize in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her work is in the realm of geometric abstraction. She finds this to be the perfect milieu in which to paint simple forms without distractions, and where she can experiment with the visual elements that inspire her the most: color, texture, pattern and movement. She prepares her ideas digitally, an agile process that allows her to create formal structures based on a grid where she can compose an infinite variety of color combinations and sequences. One of her ongoing quests is how to limit these structures and variations, but at the same time, broaden them, without losing cohesion. In her paintings and water colors she creates a visual and musical poetry of color and movement that she likes to call “coloreography” because it combines, precisely, color and choreography.


Amy van Helden In The Studio

"I believe that I will always be in awe of the straight line, its beauty is what keeps me painting." Carmen Herrera

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More About Amy van Helden

Question IconWhat inspires you?

I'm inspired to create a unique visual language based on color and geometric patterns. This is the perfect milieu in which I can work with simple forms, without distractions, and in which I can experiment with the pictorial elements that inspire me the most. I like to experiment with variations on a theme to create new vibrant juxtapositions.

Question IconDescribe your creative process.

The medium I work in is acrylic on 300lb Arches watercolor paper. I discovered this surface many years ago and found a unique way to apply paint on this resilient paper. Here I can experiment with many colors, textures and layers, applying glazes and wet-on-wet techniques. I also use masking tape to delineate the geometric forms, always seeking to contrast the straight edge against uneven and irregular planes of color. The deckle edges of the mould-made watercolor paper add to this effect. Before I paint, I prepare my ideas digitally, to compose a wide variety of color combinations and sequences..

Question IconWhat are 3 words that best describe your work?

geometric, chromatic, nuanced

Question IconWho are some artists that have influenced your work?

Sol Lewitt, Josef Albers, Anni Albers, Bridgett Riley, Agnes Martin, Anne Truitt, Carmen Herrera, Paul Klee

Question IconWhat is the most important tool when creating your work?

Masking tape

Question IconWhat is the best piece of advice you have been given?

Don't wait for inspiration to create art - get in the studio!

Question IconWhere do you go for inspiration?

I paint small scale watercolor compositions. I look at old artworks that I still like.



Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant


Arte Espacio, San Isidro Award



Secuencias y Elocuencias

Argentina, 2000

Secuencias y Elocuencias

Argentina, 2000

Works on Paper

United States of America, 1991