Subway, Pattern, Matisse, 72×48 inches, 2010, oil on canvas. Courtesy of Con Artist Gallery.
Con Artist Gallery is pleased to present Queens-based artist Heidi Howard’s first solo exhibition in New York City. This exhibition of new work entitled Painting for Love opens on February 2nd and runs through February 26, 2011.
The paintings on view represent Howard’s work from the past three years. For the past four years she has been concerned with political and psychological significance of the body in space. These works mark a shift from paintings about New York City to portraits of her female friends, and small abstract works deeply involved in pattern and texture.
The oldest painting in the show “One of a Kind Thrift Shop” portrays Howard’s two childhood friends brothers Adam and Madgy El Mihdawy who both became professional tennis players with their parents at the family’s store on Queens Boulevard. Howard’s diptych of Kate Moss and the Countess d’Haussonville was the first painting in this series of work about women. It is her contemporary visual interpretation of Edith Wharton’s descriptions of women in rooms. In her current portraits of friends the figure and the surrounding architecture are of equal importance. These works investigate the presence of these personalities in environments. Like the sitters themselves, they are defined by a very subjective perspective. In the “self-portrait” paintings, in which Howard models, texture and composition become the focus. The small abstractions are explorations of the fabrics, which play a large role in the portraits.
Howard was born in New York, NY. She attended Yale University, Reed College, Lorenzo de Medici, La Scoula Internazionale di Grafica, and Sarah Lawrence College. In April she will be a resident at the Vermont Studio Center. Howard has shown paintings at The Gowanus Ballroom, Sideshow Gallery and Pace Wildenstein Gallery.