Aquatint with diamond point.
Edition of 30.
Signed, titled, dated, and numbered “6/30” in pencil.
Plate size: 9 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches.

The description of an artist’s work can be prone to pigeonholing. With their distinctively narrative bend Hélène Bautista’s prints could be easily reduced to a definition. Steeped in language, and a trained and practicing French teacher, Bautista clearly relishes telling a good story. The small scale of her linocuts and aquatints can seem deceptively simple. Yet, what makes her visual storytelling so expansive is her ability to suggest the world beyond the compositions edge. Stairs go up, and down. Are we in a library or in a crammed Parisian apartment? Pavement extends to infinity, seemingly. Does it actually only lead to the ticket booth of train station?

Born and raised in the Southern city of Toulouse, Hélène Bautista became a printmaker in 2012. She had always drawn, but was prompted by a vision problem to reassess her activity at that time. Lucky for us, she decided to translate the stories she discusses as a teacher, into drawings, which she shares with us. While Bautista thrives on the strength of contrast in her linocuts, the same monochromatic commitment translates into far soften tones in her aquatints. There’s something for each of us: those who like grayscale and those who like it spelled black on white.