06 February 2009

Lately Looking At..... Mary Heilmann

Mateo, 1996
Surfing on Acid, 2005

I first read about Mary Heilman's work in Vogue magazine a couple of years ago. Annie Leibovitz shot pictures of Heilman's home, her artwork, and a portrait of her. I really liked the spread because Heilmann's home in Bridgehampton, NY was decorated with the same colors and vibrancy imbued in her work. Also, it's very cool that she makes her own furniture and ceramics in addition to painting.
I am drawn to this work because it's so bright and happy and unfussy. The paint is splashed on but controlled. It's loose and liquidy. The work is graphic both in its jewel tones and references to geometry and the grid.
Heilmann was born in 1940 on the west coast. You can see the influence of sun, sand and surf in how she approaches her work. I read that she is also a fan of some very hip pop music that she often uses to inspire titles for her paintings.