Eric Helvie, “Untitled O,” 2017, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches

Massey Lyuben Gallery is proud to present a thought-provoking solo exhibition of paintings by Eric Helvie, whose innovative process is generating quite a discussion.

On view now through October 7, “O” is the second solo exhibition of paintings by Eric Helvie at Massey Lyuben Gallery. Featured in this show are Helvie’s newest oils, based on images the artist captured on his phone as they loaded from his Instagram feed. Using the screenshot feature on his mobile device, the artist then painstakingly rendered what he saw in oils.

Eric Helvie, “Untitled O,” 2017, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches
Eric Helvie, “Untitled O,” 2017, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches

“The seven new works seamlessly move between abstraction and photorealism, presenting a foggy and filtered reality where all subjects are equally obscured,” the gallery writes. “These purposefully unclear compositions, still ‘loading,’ present a peaceful limbo. The image will never become clear and we are left contemplating an indistinct, albeit richly painted middle ground.

Eric Helvie, “Untitled O,” 2017, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches
Eric Helvie, “Untitled O,” 2017, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches

“The result is a body of work that simultaneously elicits tension and reflection. In contrast to the immediacy of social media and the digital age, Helvie’s paintings offer an inherent slowness: in order to really see the image, they demand patience, submission, and meditative appreciation. By isolating the image from its context, captions, and comments, the artist removes any narration and offers viewers the pure essence of the image. Choosing to only present the ‘loading’ circle centered and floating in a cloudy square, Helvie nods towards a timelessness outside of our specific reality.”

Learn more by visiting Massey Lyuben Gallery.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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