Pashgian is a pioneer and pre-eminent member of the California Light and Space movement. Her signature forms include columns, discs and spheres in delicate and rich coloration, often with an isolated element suspended, embedded or encased within. Pashgian’s innovative application of industrial epoxies, plastics and resins effect semi-translucent surfaces that simultaneously filter and contain illumination. Activated by light, these sculptures resonate in form and spatiality, both inner and outer. An artist in residence at the California Institute of Technology from 1970-71, Pashgian received a National Endowment of the Arts Individual Artist Grant in 1986. In 2013, she was a recipient of the MOCA’s Award to Distinguished Women in the Arts. She was included in Pacific Standard Time: Cross Currents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970 at The Getty Center, and in the related Pacific Standard Time exhibition Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface at The Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, and was the subject of a major solo exhibition, Helen Pashgian: Light Invisible, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art during the spring of 2014. Most recently, she was included in the 2018-2019 exhibition Space Shifters at the Hayward Gallery, London, curated by Ralph Rugoff.
Pashgian continues to live and work in Pasadena.