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Julie Heffernan: Everything That Rises
May 26 - July 30, 2006
(above: Julie Heffernan, Everything That Rises, 2003, oil on canvas, 78 x 82 inches)
The Columbia Museum of Art presents the first museum exhibition in South Carolina of contemporary artist Julie Heffernan's work. The exhibition, Julie Heffernan: Everything That Rises opens at the Columbia Museum of Art on Friday, May 26 and runs through Sunday, July 30, 2006. Heffernan's allegorical paintings overflow with lavish surfaces, meticulous compositions, and complex narratives.
Heffernan is known for her lush and sensuous large-scale figurative and still-life paintings that at first glance seem to be from the 17th-century Italian or Spanish Baroque period. Heffernan's concerns, however, are clearly of the 21st century as her symbolism references a combination of psychological issues surrounding feminism, gender issues, class structure and motherhood. Her ability to cross-reference centuries and issues, both political and private, in large-scale figurative paintings, makes Heffernan one of the most unique artists working today.
(above: Julie Heffernan, Self-Portrait as Gourmand, 1994, oil on canvas, 58 x 72 inches)
Julie Heffernan: Everything That Rises is comprised of 15 recent oil paintings that brim with an abundance of visual opulence -- beauty and enchantment is presented, but alongside a haunting dark side. Her polished technique and playfulness are a rich delight for the eye, and her technical mastery and intriguing story lines engage the viewer. Heffernan's paintings are recognizable yet peculiar, evoking a sense of the surreal or of a dreamlike state. She is known for her series of self-portraits, and all of the paintings in this exhibition bear the title "self-portrait" -- although they are not meant to be literal self portraits but vehicles to examine memory and to tell a story about the life of the mind, imagination and myth. Some paintings are staged in grand ballroom-like spaces that are rich in the symbolism of fire and flight.
Julie Heffernan received a BFA from the University of California in Santa Cruz, and a MFA from the Yale School of Art New Haven, Connecticut. Her art has had numerous showings and received widespread critical attention. The Columbia Museum of Art has one of Heffernan's paintings in its collection that is on view in its Modern and Contemporary Galleries. She was also featured in the museum's 1998 inaugural exhibition Heroic Painting that opened the new facility at Main and Hampton Streets.
(above: Julie Heffernan, Self-Portrait as Agnostic, II, 2003, oil on canvas, 68 x 55 inches)
Heffernan has been exhibiting widely for the past two decades. Among her awards are a 1997 Lila Acheson Wallace Reader's Digest award; a 1996 New York Foundation for the Arts award, a 1995 National Endowment for the Arts Grant, and a 1986 Fulbright-Hayes Grant. She has shown in numerous one-woman and group exhibitions nationally since 1985, including The Korean Biennial; Weatherspoon Art Gallery; Tampa Museum of Art, FL; Knoxville Museum of Art, TN; Columbia Museum of Art, SC; Milwaukee Art Museum, WI; The New Museum of Contemporary Art, NY; The Norton Museum, FL; The American Academy of Arts and Letters, NY; Kohler Arts Center, WI; The Palmer Museum of Art, PA; National Academy of Art, NY; McNay Art Museum, TX; Herter Art Gallery, MA; Mint Museum of Art, NC; Virginia Museum of Fine Art, VA, among numerous others. She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.
Julie Heffernan: Everything That Rises is organized by University Art Museum, University at Albany, State University of New York and Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Greensboro.
(above: Julie Heffernan, Self-Portrait as Netherworld, 2004, oil on canvas, 60 x 52 inches)
Meet the artist at the Opening Preview Celebration on Thursday, May 25, 2006 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Ms. Heffernan will give a slide-illustrated lecture on her work at 6:45 p.m. Please RSVP to 803.799.2810 or email@example.com by Thursday, May 18 to attend. Valet parking is available. Fee or free for museum members.
In conjunction with Julie Heffernan: Everything That Rises, the museum is expanding its gallery installation to show much more of its modern and contemporary collection of paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, and works on paper. Included in the expanded modern and contemporary collection are new acquisitions and works on loan from The Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, S.C. as well as works from a year 2000 gift to the museum from Jasper Johns. Some of the artists included in the expanded installation are Jasper Johns, Claes Oldenburg, David Hockney, Ed Ruscha, Allison Saar, Andy Warhol, Jean Dubuffet, Louise Bourgeois, Willie Cole and Red Grooms.
(above: Julie Heffernan, Self-Portrait as Great Scout
Leader, 1998, oil on canvas, 74 x 60 inches)
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