Hanne Helms

Copenhagen, Denmark

My work with painting is currently a number of studies of transitions. Sharp edges, airy transformations, surfaces that meet in a hard, soft, provoked way or in mutual understanding. Color surfaces that evaporate in the clash and provoke amazing changes in temperature up against an imperceptibly changing course. I play with porosity and stability in color and let it be both airy and massive in the meeting between the surfaces.

The painting is built up as a construction. My work is non-figurative, concrete and constructivist. I explore in my compositions what it takes to establish balance and wholeness. My studies of proportion and scale form the basis for the Mondrianic way I build my network. Out of the network then grows the balanced structures of airy networks or more stable massifs.

In my search of the limits of cohesion, I arrange the bonding points to challenge the construction. I want to schedule and visualize the importance of connecting on an abstract level. I believe in a rhythm that balances in a good place between simplicity and complexity.

I describe tracks. As traces of life. Traces of deliberate actions, social dynamics and synergies as a result of activity, movement and lived life. Translated into a kind of code or network that represents them in the painting, they appear as coupled courses and surfaces in two dimensions.

The work on paper is the focal point of my process. Here I play and experiment within the framework of my system. On paper, I feel a great freedom and informality, which allows me to try out all my ideas. Afterwards I continue the work on the canvas or a wall, and I fine-tune the color and work with surface and texture.

I relate to color as a chart. I do not work from a palette, but with color as a function. It’s about what colors do together. How they repel or help each other. The colors are chosen for the status of the specific course. They will vary according to importance, strength, size and direction of the element. I turn buttons like color contrast, pitch, grey value, black and white volume, transparency and symbolism.


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