Monday, May 10, 2010

Julie Heffernan: A Contemporary Master

(Above) Self-Portrait as Thing in the Forest, 2002, Oil on canvas, 64 x 52 inches. Click any image for larger view.

(Above) Self-Portrait as Great Scout Leader, 1998, Oil on canvas, 74 x 60 inches

(Above) Self-Portrait as Raising Cain, 2007, Oil on canvas, 78 x 56 inches. Click any image for larger view.

(Above) Self-Portrait as Mother/Child, 1997, Oil on canvas, 74 x 60 inches

(Above) Self-Portrait Sitting on a World, 2008, Oil on canvas, 78 x 56 inches

(Above) Boy in Flight, 2010, Oil on canvas, 52 x 68 inches. Click any image for larger view.

(Above) Great Scout Leader, 2010, Oil on canvas, 72 x 54 inches

(Above) Self-Portrait as Animal Bed, 2008, Oil on canvas, 48 x 56 inches

(Above) Self-Portrait as Big House, 2006-2007, Oil on canvas, 68 x 58 inches

(Above) Self-Portrait as Big World, 2008, Oil on canvas, 65 x 68 inches. Click any image for larger view.

JULIE HEFFERNAN’S ORNATE, TRANSFORMATIONAL SELF-PORTRAITS and related allegorical oil paintings remind me of 15th century Florentine painter Sandro Botticelli (1445 - 1510)— with a splash of the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch (1450 - 1516) thrown in for good measure. Her interpretation and understanding of paint, form and space can give one the feeling that Heffernan (born in 1958) could have been one of their contemporaries. These are large, impressive paintings—born from her own private fairy tales, fantasies of self and decidedly feminist thinking. If I were beginning a serious collection of contemporary art—Heffernan would be one of the first artists I would buy.

Julie Heffernan’s work is included in many national and international collections, including the Columbia Museum of Art (Columbia, South Carolina), the Virginia Museum of Fine Art (Richmond, Virginia), and the Zabludowicz Art Trust (London, United Kingdom). A traveling retrospective of her work, accompanied by the eponymous catalog titled Everything that Rises, was organized by the University Art Museum, University of Albany (Albany, New York) in 2006.

Her paintings have been featured in solo exhibitions at institutions such as the Lux Art Institute (Encinitas, California), the John Michael Kohler Art Center (Sheboygan, Wisconsin), and the Mint Museum of Art (Charlotte, North Carolina). Her work has garnered critical attention in numerous publications including Artforum, Art in America, Artnews, and The New York Times. Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, she now lives and works in New York and is represented by two galleries, P.P.O.W.Gallery in New York City and the Catherine Clark Gallery in San Francisco.


Illuminated Perfume said...

Wow, these are truly masterful! They remind me quite a bit of the Austrian Rudolf Hausner. He was one of the founders of the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism.

Hannah Stephenson said...

Totally amazing!! I just love these!

Dolls from the Attic said...

Incredible and beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Truely amazing, wonderful and beautiful. John, once again you amaze us with your art knowledge...Bravo!

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