Rifts and openings within a visual expanse are intriguing. Whether I’m viewing an architectural facade or a cloud break, I always find myself wondering what’s going on behind it. Yet in my work, I’m not inclined to conjure up narratives or illustrations to answer such questions. Instead, I prefer to focus on the evocative and mysterious qualities inspired by leaving the questions unanswered. Towards these ends, I strive to create a dynamic relationship between openings and/or separations and the closed-off areas that surround and define them.
As a result, my paintings possess many strong verticals and horizontals that emphasize the physicality of the painting support. These same areas also exist alongside similarly-shaped illusory and atmospheric ones. These latter sections switch places across the picture plane with the former and vice versa. Yet, similar to a Mobius strip, the two often keep some connection to one another. The resulting undulation is the means by which I attempt to maintain an active—and evocative—dialogue between openings and closures.
Finally, unlike a narrative or illustration, there is no single visual entry point to the works. Abstraction allows me to depict instead the multiple ones I need.
image: Heath, acrylic on wood panel, 27" x 21", 2007
About the Artist
Living and working in New York City, Kylie Heidenheimer 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. 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 urban decay, 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.