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PATTER HELLSTROM Patter Hellstrom 40” x 26” Floating Sari - acrylic ink on polypropylene

FLOW is a term coined in 2003 by the American art historian Peter Frank, when he referred to a handful of Californian artists indicating a new direction.

“With the reemergence of abstract painting,” writes Peter Frank, “artists are again exploiting the tendency of (thinned) paint to seep and to gush, to pool and to surge. We see a growing number of artists going with the flow, as it were.” Frank continues,“Until now, Southern California has not been a hotbed of gestural abstraction like this. But if we regard flow painting as a kind of process art, as an examination of what materials and substances do when placed in the context of visual experimentation, such painting falls right in with the region’s artistic tradition of investigating what stuff does.” In 2011 LA Weekly said of her work: “Patter Hellstrom, whose calligraphic brushstrokes and daring use of color will have a natural dialogue with the chance element of the flow painters.” Recently ArtBusiness critic encouraged the viewer to “Meditate on the confluence of art and spiritual practice here through Patter Hellstrom’s manifestations of serene spontaneity,” speaking of her 2013 solo show at the San Francisco Zen Center. Of Expressive Flow, her solo show in 2011 in San Francisco at The McLoughlin Gallery they spoke of “Bright colors frozen in motion and abstraction. Wonderful and accessible. These artworks meander their way into your consciousness.” Jason Lahman’s extensive essay about Hellstrom’s work entitled Patter Hellstrom’s Sublime Choreographies of the Centered Self, mentions “the rich acrylic inks slide, stretch and swim across the polypropylene, the visual equivalents of musical sounds.....The volatility of liquid has been channeled with extreme skill into compositions that are redolent with the rhythms of underlying cosmic processes. One feels that the surface is a laboratory, a theatre to witness the mysterious stages of an alchemical unfolding.” Of Grief Path, Hellstrom’s 2012 installation at CIIS, curator Deirdre Visser said “mapping the emotional, psychological and cognitive dimensions of grief, as they’re experienced through time, Hellstrom’s piece will complicate conventional ideas about grief and loss. These conventions include suggestions that it should last only a fixed period of time, or that there is an uni-directional path of healing that will be common from one individual to the next, or even one experience of loss to the next for the same person.”

Above: Chhatra 1 and 2 - mounted and hung as a diptych Below: GRIEF PATH 2012 installation

Sindoor (left) and Krishna (right)

India (left) and Starting Point Center (right)

Dance Two (left) and Circle Back (right)

(above) Hecate’s Broom and (below) PUSH

Expansion (left) and Making Way (right)


LOOP (left) and Travel Log (right)

Due North (left) and Golden Spine (right)

Patter Hellstrom at Square  

catalog for contemporary art exhibit at Square in San Francisco

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