The Italian Academy at Columbia University is pleased to present a solo show of recent abstract paintings by Kylie Heidenheimer. On canvases ranging from three to four feet square, the artist skillfully blends areas that are as evanescent as air with gutsy, tactile passages celebrating the materiality of paint itself. In them, washes of acrylic paint puddle and pool; thick splashes and blobs might impose themselves, or break apart and scatter like clouds. Several works on smaller wood panels provide a more intimate, scale-defying variation on the artist’s expansive vision.
Not content to establish a sense of place in her paintings, Heidenheimer delights in thwarting or indulging that very impulse, thereby complicating those “places.” Alert to the irony of her process, she questions, in pictorial terms, the kind of tranquility she struggles to achieve. This assiduously self-aware effort manifests in imagery that suggests natural phenomena, cosmology, weather maps, calligraphy and the primordial. Throughout her investigation, the artist is guided by her fascination with the dual nature of the painted surface: repository of matter, and metaphor for space.
Heidenheimer was born in Gainesville, Florida, and grew up in St. Louis. She has a BFA in painting from Washington University, and an MFA from Hunter College. She has attended residencies at the Millay Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Byrdcliffe Artists Colony, Blue Mountain Center, and the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. Her work has been included in exhibitions and flat files at Holland Tunnel, Sideshow Gallery, Condeso Lawler Gallery, PS122, Streit’s Matzo Factory, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Charas and Mascot Studios in New York, Raritan Valley Community College in New Jersey, The Glenn Eure Gallery in North Carolina and The Anderson Center in Minnesota. Currently, her work is in the flat files at Pierogi 2000 in Brooklyn, and she will have a solo exhibition at Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio in 2008. Heidenheimer lives and works in New York City.