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Rare Modernist intaglio works by Helen Phillips

October 20th, 2015

American sculptor and print maker Helen Phillips born 1913, Fresno, California.  She studied at the School of Fine Art in San Francisco and learned direct carving techniques from Ralph Stackpole, who introduced her to Diego Rivera but Phillips was more excited by Oceanic and Pre-Columbian art than Social Realism.    Phillips won Phelan Traveling Fellowship which allowed her to work in Paris in 1936.   There, she entered Atelier 17, the intaglio print workshop where she met it’s founder and future husband, Stanley William Hayter. Learning to engrave copper in Paris had an important impact on the development of her sculpture, forcing her to become conscious of negative space.  She fled to New York in 1939 and became a pioneer of the New York School, exhibiting with Wilfredo Lam, Roberto Matta, David Hare, Isamu Noguchi and Arshile Gorky.
Phillips’s sculpture and intaglio prints are in the permanent collections of the Albright Knox Gallery,  Peggy Guggenheim, Venice,  Dallas Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, San Diego Museum of Art. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, MOMA, New York, DeYoung Museum, San Francisco, Princeton University Art Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.  She died in New York in 1995.

Helen Phillips, Danseuses, c. 1959 and Saltimbanques, 1954

Danseuses, c. 1959 and Saltimbanques, 1954

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