Changing Woman: The Life and Art of Helen Hardin
by Jay Scott
1989 First Edition, 165 pages
From the personal library of Alexander E. Anthony, Jr.
From the inside cover:
Helen Hardin (1943-1984) once commented, “It's more important, finally, for people to like my art than to like me.” The art she created was the product of her deliberate effort to both retain the mystical elements of her heritage (Santa Clara Pueblo) and depart from the traditional style favored by many of the artists whose work surrounded her.
Hardin's distinctive style began to emerge in the early seventies in her kachina paintings. Kachinas provided her with some of her strongest imagery, and her interpretations of the various figures - rich, abstract, complex - are some of her most impressive work. As she moved further and further into her career, though, she began exploring other subjects: her “Women” series - Changing Woman, Listening Woman, Creative Woman, and Medicine Woman - expresses the intense emotions of pain, exhilaration, anger.
This book is a critical study of a contemporary painter caught in the conflict of public expectation and her own desire for individual artistic expression. Helen Hardin could not abandon her heritage, nor could she accept it and its inherent constraints. This tension fueled her life and her art, and, in many ways, made her what she was: a talented, dynamic, and dedicated artist.