Explore the Era

Delve into the postwar Los Angeles art world in this online archive, which provides additional material related to the exhibitions on view at the Getty Center. Learn about hipsters and happenings, and the venues across the city where all the action took place through images from the archives and first-hand accounts with the artists.


Untitled, 1969, Helen Pashgian.

Untitled, 1969, Helen Pashgian. Cast sphere, color polyester resin. 7 in. diam. Norton Simon Museum, Gift of the artist. © Helen Pashgian

Helen Pashgian uses industrial materials such as polyester resin to create objects with luminous effects, which has led her work to be considered part of the Light and Space movement that developed in Southern California in the 1960s. Light and color seem suspended in the spherical form of this untitled work, but they also exceed the boundaries of that form. As the viewer moves around the piece or as lighting conditions in the gallery change, colors meld and reflections shift, destabilizing the boundary between the interior of the sphere and its surface. Pashgian’s cast spheres, like other minimalist works, focus attention on the viewer’s perceptual experience, but they are also highly enigmatic objects that seem to glow with their own life.

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Exhibition audio: Learn the role of the Southern California environment in Pashgian’s work.

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Explore the Archive

  • Video: Helen Pashgian

    Video: Helen Pashgian speaks about her work, April 2010

  • Helen Pashgian polishing a sculpture

    Helen Pashgian polishing one of her sculptures in the Baxter Art Gallery at the California Institute of Technology in Pasedena for an artists in residence exhibition, 1970. Courtesy of and © Helen Pashgian

  • Helen Pashgian

    Helen Pashgian working in her studio in the 1970s. Photo by Walt Mancini. Courtesy of and © Helen Pashgian