Many of Helene Steene's works are inspired by the soft white walls, and weathered wood works she encounters on the Greek island of Paros, as well as the local fauna and the ever-changing sea. The sense of layered history from antiquity to more recent times is very present on this island, famous for its white translucent marble, which inspired her to experiment with marble dust to create a sense of contemporary fresco surfaces. She also has been working on a series of circular forms, representing a sense of centeredness which always has been important to her.
Helene Steene’s work is well recognized for its many layered depth, intensity of colors, and elegance of surface. She combines classical oil glaze techniques, using natural minerals, over marble dust, with contemporary brushed metal on wood, as well as oil glazes and marble dust over collaged paper.
"Whether my work is abstract, non-objective or figurative, there is always a search for something that signifies a subtle inner beauty, depth and simplicity even when the forms are complex. I am intrigued by the tension between, forms, lines and colors that ultimately can resolve in harmony. Sometimes, this is achieved with more obvious forms, and sometimes, with a delicate balance attempting to give substance to the space that exists precisely because there are no objects.
If my work can slow someone down to contemplate something within her or himself - if it can add a moment of focus on their inner peace in this absurd world - then I have reached the viewer. We, the viewer and the mark maker, would be connected through that ephemeral magic that is all around, as I am convinced that one's range of intellect is so trivial in the face of greater mysteries."
"Steene's luminous layers of colors and intuitively balanced structure are reminiscent of
Rothko's luminous paintings. Her visual subtleties slow down the viewing process and
contribute to an overall sense of harmony and inner peace, one that serves as an
antidote to today's fast-paced, chaotic world."
Jane S. Peters, Professor Emerita, Art History & Visual Studies,
University of Kentucky, USA
“Call Steene’s paintings the fusion of geometry and grace, which probes and pierces
or let us say we gaze out from the eye of light itself”
Peter Abbs, Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing,
University of Sussex, Great Britain
Her work has been published, exhibited, and collected in both private and public collections in the United States, France, Greece, Spain, Great Britain and Sweden, and she has won numerous awards for her work. The latest being, 2016 CODAAwards Top 100. The World’s Best Commissioned Design + Art Projects.
Her mixed media works were shown in two solo museum exhibits; in 2010 at the stunning Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, VA, and in 2013 at the Headley-Whitney Museum in Lexington, KY. A large retrospective is planned for fall of 2021 at the Headley-Whitney Museum. Recent large scale commissions were, in 2019 “Ancient Healer II”, 12 x 4,5 feet, mixed media, at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, in 2016 “Ancient Healer”, 46 x 270” mixed media, at University of Kentucky Hospital, the private dining/conference room, in 2015 “Ginkgo”, 102 x 108“, mixed media work in the beautiful events facilities Apiary in Lexington; and in 2010, “Shimmer at the Edge”, mixed media, 108 x 78” at the Markey Cancer Center, University of Kentucky Hospital in Lexington, and in 2017 Gatton School of Business at University of Kentucky added “Archilochus’ View, 48 x 74 inches, mixed media, to their collection.