8 June – 21 August 2016
Be captivated by colour: 4 stars – Evening Standard
Prepare to be dazzled – Time Out
A wonderfully rich survey – It’s Nice That
The surreal beach life of Los Angeles, 1960s counter culture, pop songs and friendships with New York artists, poets and musicians are the well springs of Mary Heilmann’s dazzling abstractions.
Heilmann (b. 1940) takes colour, line and shape on unexpected journeys. Polka dots waft across eye-popping hues corralled within irregular rectangles. The poetry of her works lies in the tension between the rigours of geometry and the contingencies of the human and the organic.
The exhibition begins with paintings based on the square, the grid and architectural details, such as The First Vent (1972). They are juxtaposed with glazed ceramics, hovering between painting and sculpture. A slide show, Her Life (2006), features Heilmann’s paintings and personal photographs set to an eclectic mix of music.
Choreographed across Gallery 8, dynamic canvases represent ‘autobiographical markers’ – painterly haikus of the artist’s life. Their vibrancy is matched by their titles – Bush of Ghosts (1980) or Good Vibrations Diptych, Remembering David (2012). Heilmann invites the viewer to become immersed in her synaesthetic stories while sitting in her colourful chairs.
This exhibition is generously supported by The Robert Lehman Foundation and those who wish to remain anonymous.
This fully illustrated exhibition catalogue features new writings by Mary Heilmann, Lydia Yee and Briony Fer. Price: £28.00.
See the full programme of talks, events and performances coinciding with Mary Heilmann: Looking at Pictures.
Step into Mary Heilmann‘s record collection with a selection of tracks from the 60s, 70s and 80s.
Buy art by leading contemporary artists exclusively at the Whitechapel Gallery.
Read the press release