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Oral history interview with Helen Pashgian, 2012 July 11

Pashgian, Helen, 1934-

Painter, Sculptor


Collection Information

Size: 83 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 11 min.

Summary: An interview of Helen Pashgian conducted 2012 July 11, by Hunter Drohojowska-Philp, for the Archives of American Art, at Pashgian's studio, in Pasadena, California.
Pashgian speaks of her parents and their backgrounds; her father's businesses; her grandparents; the influence of great grandmother; her brother; attending grade and high school; attending Pomona College; swimming and athletics; spending time at the beach; the influence of light on water; art classes; learning to look at art; attending Pomona; teaching; living in New York and Boston; working at an advertising firm as a secretary; attending graduate school; working for the Fogg Museum; quitting teaching and moving back to California; experimenting with glazes; California light; La Cienega; taking her work to galleries to try to get a show; Rex Evans; Felix Landau; being a woman artist; meeting Mia Farrow; experimenting with resin; hemispheres; support of parents; Caltech; Nicholas Tschoegl; Jet Propulsion Lab; Great Sphere; stolen art; Jack Brogan; working in resin; Jack Brogan; James Turrell and growing up in California; Balboa Island summer camp; meeting Judy Chicago; being a woman artist; Laguna Beach; Crystal Cove; 'finish fetish"; color field painters; California artists showing in New York; Jill Kornblee Gallery; spheres; Phenomenal exhibition; Baroque period; show at UC Irvine; corporate art collections; plastics technology; working with companies and engineers; epoxy company in Visalia; plastic work; Works Gallery; the early '90s in Southern California; hiatus; working with a fabricator; Pomona College board; L.A. Master Chorale; father's health and growing old; Ace Gallery; new work. Pashgian also recalls Seymour Slive, Vincent Scully, HelenGretchen Van de Kamp, Christopher Ward, Larry Gagosian, DeWain Valentine, Richard Diebenkorn, Roger Kuntz, Peter Alexander, Dave Elder, Bob Bassler, Richard Feynman, Larry Bell, Frank Gehry, Robert Irwin, Mary Corse, Archie Turrell, Miriam Schapiro, Elizabeth Elgin, Brooke Alexander, Wayne Thiebaud, Roger Kuntz, Helen Frankenthaler, Ellsworth Kelly, Nicholas Wilder Gallery, Donald Judd, Melinda Wortz, Robert Morris, Richard Serra, Dan Flavin, Leo Castelli, Jill Kornblee, Phyllis Plous, Melinda Terbell, Stella Polaris Gallery, Mark Moore, Lance Willis, Kettleman Hills, Michael Govan, and others.

Biographical/Historical Note

Helen Pashgian (1934- ) is a sculptor in Pasadena, California. Hunter Drohojowska-Philp is a writer and art historian in Los Angeles, California.


This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.

Language Note

English .

How to Use This Collection

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For information on how to access this interview contact Reference Services.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Helen Pashgian, 2012 July 11. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.