Mary Heilmann, All Tomorrow's Parties, Exhibition View, Secession 2003
Mary Heilmann, All Tomorrow's Parties, Exhibition View, Secession 2003


Mary Heilmann's pictures assume a special position in the genre of abstract painting. Whereas autobiographical moments often provide a starting point for her works, the reduced forms and the choice of expressive color compositions frequently cite elements of the most diverse lifestyle and design cultures from the last decades. Styles are borrowed from abstract expressionism, Pop Art and geometric painting. The spaces of personal memory that flow into Mary Heilmann's work are alluded to with associative titles.


Mary Heilmann, All Tomorrow's Parties, Exhibition View, Secession 2003
Mary Heilmann, All Tomorrow's Parties, Exhibition View, Secession 2003


The exhibition at the Secession, which is dedicated to her recently deceased gallerists Pat Hearn and Colin de Land, comprises thirty works from the late seventies up to the present and shows paintings, ceramic pictures, and a series of specially designed wooden chairs with colorfully woven seats. In this combination of different practices, the artist indicates not only her own way of dealing with abstract painting, which goes beyond the analysis of a medium, but also to relation to sculpture.  


Mary Heilmann, All Tomorrow's Parties, Exhibition View, Secession 2003
Mary Heilmann, All Tomorrow's Parties, Exhibition View, Secession 2003


Mary Heilmann, who studied ceramics and sculpture in Berkeley in the sixties, was soon in close contact with artists such as Gordon Matta-Clark, Bruce Nauman and Keith Sonnier. It was in New York in the early seventies that she first began exploring and experimenting with materials and forms (of dematerialization) - contrary to a general trend more in the direction of minimalism - in the field of abstract painting.


Mary Heilmann, All Tomorrow's Parties, Exhibition View, Secession 2003
Mary Heilmann, All Tomorrow's Parties, Exhibition View, Secession 2003


The early works, in which Mary Heilmann primarily used acrylic on canvas, are dominated by lattice and grid structures, which she reinterprets from the basis of her interest in process-oriented sculptures, but also as a counterreaction to their traditionally defined prosaicness and austerity. In the treatment of the surface and space of the picture that is characteristic for the artist, her use of reductive painterly methods and an elementary geometrical vocabulary, visual and tactile picture conceptions interlock. With a striking sense of color, Heilmann weights circles, lines and squares in forceful contrasts. The corners and edges of the canvas are often integrated into the motifs. By frequently painting over the pictures, Heilmann disturbs the balance of the colors, but increases their intensity at the same time. Since the late eighties, Heilmann has used oil on canvas more and more and developed the superimposition of painterly planes into complex spatial structures. Her use of "shaped canvas" emphasizes the intention of opening up a dialogue with architecture.


Mary Heilmann, All Tomorrow's Parties, Exhibition View, Secession 2003
Mary Heilmann, All Tomorrow's Parties, Exhibition View, Secession 2003


Even though Mary Heilmann cites the formal language of the history of abstraction and minimalism in her works, the focus is not on the analysis of form and content, but rather on playing through these elements of style in order to go beyond their logic.


Mary Heilmann, All Tomorrow's Parties, Exhibition View, Secession 2003
Mary Heilmann, All Tomorrow's Parties, Exhibition View, Secession 2003


In addition to the integration of biographical moments, Mary Heilmann s works also have a close affinity to film and music, and literary writing. In the book The All Night Movie (1999), she tells her life story and describes the context in which her pictures are created and which they cite. The All Night Movie combines anecdotes from her private life with developments in her career, tells of art attitudes and thinking and changing perspectives in the art market.


Mary Heilmann, All Tomorrow's Parties, Exhibition View, Secession 2003
Mary Heilmann, All Tomorrow's Parties, Exhibition View, Secession 2003


PUBLICATION
The catalogue for the exhibition at the Secession continues this account. In addition to texts by Jennifer Higgie and Martin Prinzhorn, it also includes a text by Mary Heilmann about the history of Pat Hearn and Colin de Land and her relationship to them as gallerists and friends.

MARY HEILMANN

84 pages, 38 colored illustrations, 8 b/w photos
authors: Mary Heilmann, Matthias Herrmann, Jennifer Higgie, Martin Prinzhorn
Secession 2003, ISBN 3-901926-58-5
Distribution: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König

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available in the shop


Mary Heilmann, All Tomorrow's Parties, Exhibition View, Secession 2003
Mary Heilmann, All Tomorrow's Parties, Exhibition View, Secession 2003


LECTURE / PERFORMANCE

MARY HEILMANN: HER LIFE
Sunday, 7 September 2003, 7 p.m. at the Secession
music: Mary Heilmann and Don Christiansen/The Contortions.
An event of Friends of the Secession



Mary Heilmann, All Tomorrow's Parties, Exhibition View, Secession 2003
Mary Heilmann, All Tomorrow's Parties, Exhibition View, Secession 2003


MARY HEILMANN, born in 1940, lives and works in New York, Solo exhibitions (selection): 2003 Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin; 2002 American Fine Arts, New York; 2001 Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zurich; Galerie Meyer Kainer, Vienna; Camden Arts Centre, London; 2000 Oldenburger Kunstverein; Galleria Marabini, Bologna; 1998 Pat Hearn Gallery, New York; Group Exhibitions (selection): 2003 There's no land but the land (up there is just a sea of possibilities), Meyer Riegger Galerie, Karlsruhe; 2001 Mary Heilmann - Joanne Greenbaum, Greengrassi Gallery, London; Künstlerräume/ Sammlerräume, Kunstverein St.Gallen; Part Two (1988-1994), Pat Hearn Gallery, New York; 2000 Mary Heilmann - Jessica Stockholder, Kunstmuseum St. Gallen; The Artist as Curator, Galerie Nächst St.Stephan, Vienna; 1997 KünstlerInnen: 50 Positionen zeitgenössischer internationaler Kunst, Kunsthaus Bregenz


Mary Heilmann, All Tomorrow's Parties, Ausstellungsansicht, Secession 2003
Mary Heilmann, All Tomorrow's Parties, Ausstellungsansicht, Secession 2003


Mary Heilmann, All Tomorrow's Parties, Exhibition View, Secession 2003
Mary Heilmann, All Tomorrow's Parties, Exhibition View, Secession 2003


All In-Situs: Matthias Herrmann



MEL ZIEGLER  NORBERT BRUNNER-LIENZ EXHIBITION PROGRAM 2003

 

For further information and photographic material please contact:
 
Katharina Schniebs
Secession, Association of Visual Artists Vienna Secession
Friedrichstraße 12, 1010 Vienna
Tel: +43-1-5875307-21, Fax: +43-1-5875307-34
presse@secession.at