Tag Archive | Mary Heilmann

Mary Heilmann Geometrics: Waves, Roads, etc. at 303Gallery

Rose Wave
Rose Wave (All Photos By Gail)

303 Gallery is currently hosting an exhibition of new works by Mary Heilmann, whose work you might remember from This Post.

Rotate
Rotate

On view are an arrangement of paintings on canvas and handmade paper, glazed ceramics, and a group of her distinctive furniture sculptures.

Cups on a Table
Cups on a Table

Wryly poking around the history of abstract painting, Heilmann’s imaginative approach to the geometries of spaces, things and thoughts has made her one of the foremost painters of her generation. Adopting waves and roads as inspiration for many of the works in this show, her deft perceptive logics suggest simultaneously intimate and expansive experiences.

Highway My Way
Highway My Way

In Heilmann’s paintings, waves and roads each generate their own sources of life. They move and travel and interlock. Positive and negative space inhabit alternating roles, as colors riff on memory in vibrant undulations as well as protracted expanses. Heilmann’s geometrics abut forms and steer the eye backward between them and seemingly through them.

Maricopa Highway
Maricopa Highway

San Andreas

In San Andreas (2012), a glowing red core pokes through chunks of earthy green glazed ceramic, its tactile surface bubbling with tension. In The Geometry of a Wave, a tiny painting on paper suggests an entire universe in two colors. Pigment pools in the paper’s irregular crevices, as a wave’s fragile surface is rendered with a penetrating directness.

First Date
First Date

In his memoir Barbarian Days, William Finnegan writes of the hallucinatory power of surfing, “It was as if we were suspended above the reef, floating on a cushion of nothing . . . Approaching waves were like optical illusions.” Heilmann’s own waves begin to depict a similar imagery with their synchronic positives and negatives. What seems like a simple gestural game drifts into the essential, into an intuitive understanding of a form’s resonance and a furtive ability to shape it.

Sunny Chaise 10 and 4
Heilmann’s Sunny Chaise #10 and #4 shown at the Exhibit Opening Reception

To that end, Heilmann’s installation of her signature chairs encourages viewers to sit, linger and engage in dialogue with the paintings, with each other, and with themselves. To sit and watch the waves, to hit the road.

Left and Right
Left and Right

The edges of the paintings point at each other; one can imagine the air between them as tactile. If a painting has its own language, why not try to speak with it?

Mary Heilmann’s Geometrics: Waves, Roads, etc. will be on Exhibit Through December 19th, 2015 at 303 Gallery, Located at 507 W 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Geometric Left
Geometric Left

Mary Heilmann Signage

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Pink Thing of The Day: Mary Heilmann, Sunset at the Whitney Museum

Sunset
All Photos By Gail

A distinguishing feature of the new Whitney Museum in the meatpacking district is this work by Mary Heilmann, attached to the northern facade of the building, which is called Sunset.  A burst of bright pink, Sunset is a site specific installation that inaugurates the museum’s largest outdoor gallery and transforms it into a place of reverie, memory and leisure.

Mary Heilmann became known in the 197os for vibrant paintings that married taut, abstract forms with quivering line and vivid color. For more than thirty years, she has intermittently explored a stair-step motif bushed within rectangular fields or expressed through irregularly-shaped canvases, which happen to rhyme with the dramatic setbacks and grid lines of the Whitney’s new building. This serendipitous connection inspired Heilmann to enlarge a detail of one such painting and print it onto two large panels that playfully turn the building itself into her canvas and tweak its sharp geometries.

Sunset

Heilmann’s intervention extends to a group of sculptural chairs scattered on the terrace like a shower of confetti. Adapted from furniture that she has displayed in homes and exhibitions, the chairs serve as elements in her larger composition and encourage visitors to interact with one another and the cityscape beyond.

 Mary Heilmann Chairs