Rethinking Things

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I was playing Dadi Freyr's song "Think About Things" on repeat the week I painted this work. I hope the colors bring the viewer joy and the feeling of jazz and funk, I know it does for me.

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John Crowther
John Crowther Critic

January 07, 2022

We have talked a lot in these newsletters about how abstraction can often more accurately and completely depict a scene than figuration, as abstraction captures the individuality of perception and the tricks light and perspective play on us all. But what about painting an entirely non-visual experience? Music plays such an important role in so many of our lives, and even those who are ambivalent to it cannot escape it. One is hard-pressed to go a day without encountering some music; no matter how fleeting. We can, and often do, create video montages that describe the lyrics of a song, but what about a song without lyrics or even the impression of one with them? To find the answer to these questions one needs to look no further than Helen Lee’s "Rethinking Things". Jazz, as a free-flowing musical genre where each sound is improvised in reaction to its predecessor, is the ideal candidate for the painting. The spontaneous dance of disparate abstract forms that make up the painting are a pictorial representation of the orchestra of color that plays behind our closed eyes while we listen to jazz (or anything else for that matter).

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Helen Lee
Abstract, Geometric
Painting - Unframed
Watercolors, Canvas
9.00 inches wide
12.00 inches tall
0.00 inches deep
0.10 lbs
Seattle, WA, US