Helaine Blumenfeld was born in 1942 in New York. She studied sculpture in Paris at the Ecole de la Grande Chaumière 1962–63, before going on to gain a doctorate in Philosophy at Columbia University in 1964. Helaine Blumenfeld lives and works between her studios in Cambridge, UK and Pietrasanta, Italy.
Blumenfeld has exhibited at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, The Sainsbury Centre and the Royal British Society of Sculptors. International exhibitions of her work have been held in Vienna, Paris, New York, Oslo, Singapore, Athens and Pietrasanta. Blumenfeld has created many commissions for public, corporate and private clients, including the US Federal Government, British Petroleum and the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.
In 2006, Blumenfeld was the first female recipient of the Premio Pietrasanta e la Versilia nel Mondo, an international award for sculpture. In 2004, she was elected to the office of Vice–President of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, a position that she retained, with distinction, until 2009. In acknowledgement of her services to the Arts, Helaine Blumenfeld was awarded an honorary OBE by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II in 2011.
Blumenfeld pioneered new methods of carving in stone and is known for her semi-abstract marble, granite and bronze sculptures. Her forms are often abstractions of human forms and of elements in nature. As a sculptor working in Britain she descends directly from the traditions in stone and wood carved out by sculptural pioneers such as Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth; evolving this way of working into further abstraction.
Blumenfeld’s work is an investigation into the emotional life of the individual. Her work is characterised by her ability to turn solid, complex units into light and delicate forms. Working with onyx and marble, Blumenfeld’s technical virtuosity means that she consistently brings light into her work as a fourth dimension, a visual metaphor for transparency, which the artist regards as the essence of relationships.