Sydney exhibitions. artist Helen Eager at Utopia Art Sydney. 7 – 28 September, 2013. Utopia Art Sydney. 2 Danks Street, Waterloo NSW 2017.
After the wall: new work from Helen Eager since her major commission for the Museum of Contemporary Art.
In March 2012 Helen Eager’s wall painting ‘Tango’ was unveiled at the Museum of Contemporary Art at Circular Quay. Her signature geometric abstraction – in this instance, chains of vibrant orange triangles on a white ground – resonated with the iconic landmarks of Sydney’s Harbour Bridge and Opera House. “And,” Helen added, “there is the conversation with you, the viewer, as you accept the invitation to tango!”
One long wall of Helen’s spacious white studio in Alexandria is still covered in the large scale equilateral orange triangles that were painted in the preparation and planning phase of this incredible project. The rest of the space is filled with new canvasses that continue to explore monochramatic compositions in nuanced tones of purple, yellow and orange. These canvasses are ambitious in their scale, confident in their execution and the forms dance upon their surfaces with a graceful ease.
Helen Eager studied at the South Australian School of Art. After study she moved back to Sydney, established a studio and began her exhibiting career at Watters Gallery in 1977. In 1980 a Visual Arts Board travel grant supported a year traveling internationally, visiting and working in leading print workshops and exploring major public collections in Europe and the USA.
A Masters degree at COFA in the late eighties focused on large scale works on paper which took her drawing to a new level. A residency in the Greene St Studio in New York in 1988 was pivotal as Eager’s work evolved towards pure abstaction.
Her 2005 exhibition ‘New Directions’ was important. Banks of drawing formed the largest scaled wall works to date. Bold and subtle colours on a stark white ground and simply pinned to the wall made a clear statement, and set the tone for a body of work which reached a climax with the wall painting commissioned for the opening of the new MCA.
Eager has sustained a solo exhibition program for over three decades with her drawings, paintings and prints. The constant thread of colour and light has informed her shift from domestic interiors to pure abstraction.
For further information on the evolution of Eager’s practice follow this link to read the online catalogue for her 2012 survey exhibition at Utopia Art Sydney: