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Marc Selwyn Fine Art is pleased to present Reflecting Forms by Helène Aylon (1931-2020). This single work installation in our project gallery belongs to the artist’s 1977 Pouring Formations series.    Aylon’s Pouring Formations series is an observation of transformation. To Aylon, the materials she uses and the processes she invents are as important as the completed image. The artist describes her method as follows:    I painted from behind the surface of the paper, allowing the oils to seep through naturally, in their own time, outside of my doing. I’d wait for the image to manifest on the front surface through chance—absorption—and I would accept the outcome. … I wanted the art to tell me something that I did not know.   Aylon’s desire to be enlightened by yielding to nature diverges from the conventional paradigm that an artist is a ‘master creating a masterpiece,’ a differentiation she viewed as feminist. To refute the traditional notions of control and permanence in painting, Aylon embraced her material’s innate pace and movements.    In 1973, Aylon moved from New York to San Francisco where she developed the idea of making works that physically changed over time. Like the contemporaneous Minimalists, she developed parameters for her practice -- a certain amount of linseed oil and a set method. Her process achieved organic forms and colors by allowing her materials the freedom to share authorship. The resulting imagery can be reminiscent of both single-cell organisms or aerial maps of landmasses against shorelines.    Composed of two panels, Reflecting Forms explores the mystery of possibilities. The forms are imperfect reflections of each other. The spectrum of color evokes amber or honey, precious natural materials that mature organically over time.    Born Helène Greenfield in 1931, the artist was raised in an Orthodox Jewish household in Brooklyn’s Borough Park neighborhood. She married a rabbi at eighteen, moved to Montreal, and the couple had two children. In her mid-twenties, they returned to New York, and she began studying art at Brooklyn College where she met artist Ad Reinhardt who encouraged and mentored her. The relationships Aylon developed during her time at Brooklyn College later led her to the secular art world. In 1961, at the age of thirty, Helène was widowed. Soon after, she began to use the surname Aylon, from the Hebrew name for Helène, Aylonna, marking a transition that encompassed the beginning of her artistic career.    Helène Aylon participated in one-person and group shows in museums and galleries throughout the United States, Europe, and Israel. She was the recipient of numerous honors and awards including, among many others, three awards from the Pollock Krasner Foundation, two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, two fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women’s Caucus for Art. More recent exhibitions include Shifting Terrain at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and By Any Means: Contemporary Drawings from the Morgan, Morgan Library and Museum, New York in 2019. Works by the artist are in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Oakland Art Museum; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; Jewish Museum, New York; Morgan Library and Museum, New York, among others. 

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