Spirit Lines: Helen Hardin Etchings
August 4 — November 15, 2020



Helen Hardin (1943 – 1984) was the daughter of artist Pablita Velarde (1918 – 2006) from the Santa Clara Pueblo near Albuquerque, New Mexico. Shortly after birth Hardin was given the name Tsa-Sah-Wee-Eh, meaning Little Standing Spruce, in the Tewa language. As Helen’s father was Anglo, she was unable to participate in Pueblo ceremonies. Unlike her mother, who painted scenes of traditional Pueblo life, Hardin chose to interpret images of ancient pottery and rock art designs into contemporary, abstracted, highly individualized compositions. With the use of repeated geometric forms and layering techniques, viewers obtain a sense of introspect into a woman artist whose work is divided between traditional and modern worlds.


Spirit Lines: Helen Hardin Etchings features all 23 first editions of the Santa Clara Pueblo artist’s collection of copper plate etchings completed by the artist from 1980 to 1984, as well as the copper plates themselves, and images of the artist.  The exact processes and precise techniques of copper plate etching were fitting for the labor-intensive, detailed compositions created by Helen Hardin.  Through her groundbreaking career, Hardin created avenues for other Native women to break from traditionalism.



IMAGES: (Top to Bottom)
Helen Hardin, Zia Bird, #1/50, 1980, copper plate etching, Courtesy of Helen Hardin #1’s LLC – a Nevada Corporation
Helen Hardin, Messenger From the Sun, #1/50, 1980, copper plate etching, Courtesy of Helen Hardin #1’s LLC – a Nevada Corporation





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