On Saturday, September 3rd, Maxwell Colette Gallery is thrilled to present a show of new paintings from Andrea Joyce Heimer. This will be the artist's first solo show in Chicago, having shown previously with the gallery in the acclaimed group show 'The Ballasted Frequencies' in 2015.
A Brief History Of My Wrestling Career is a series of autobiographical paintings depicting her relationship struggles through the lens of an adult adoptee. Heimer explains that "to wrestle is to physically contend with an opponent---and when we think of wrestling bodily sensations come to mind as well, the slapping of skin, grunting, the circling of another. The corporeality of wrestling seems right in describing my struggles to create and maintain connections to others. I can't find the family who left me, so I grapple with building my own. My methods are flawed at times. Reckless too, and selfish. But I am sweating through them, grunting and circling."
Heimer's focus is monoscenic narrative painting. The figurative elements focus on the interactions between human beings in moments of disconnection or detachment. Emotional themes of loneliness, anger, and longing are performed in symbol-laden environments including houses, yards, forests, and bodies of water. The distinctive flatness with which the scenes are rendered recall the flattened perspective of medieval art and speak to the "flattened" experience of the adoptee, whose lack of background knowledge represents a deficiency of depth to one's selfhood.
The goals of the work include initiating conversations about what it means to build identity without a birthright, negotiating insider/outsider familial issues, and the ramifications of protecting what is often seen in the eyes of the law as one group's right to privacy (birthparents) over the civil rights of another group (adoptees whose records are kept from them). Heimer says she hopes "the work serves as an example of the practice of exposing painful and embarrassing realities in a flat matter-of-fact visual manner, as a means of acceptance through serenity."
Andrea Joyce Heimer (b: 1981) is a Washington-based painter known for her exploration of the suburban experience, drawing inspiration from the neighborhood mythos of her childhood home in 1980's Great Falls, Montana. Part allegory part autobiography, much of Heimer's work is influenced by the feelings and events surrounding her adoption. She is currently receiving her MFA from the New Hampshire Institute of Art and has conducted artist residencies and mural projects in Seattle, Montana, and Berlin. Recent exhibitions include "Inside Out" at Castlefield Gallery (UK - 2016), The Outsider Art Fair (NYC - 2016), Athen B Gallery (Oakland - 2016), Linda Hodges Gallery (Seattle - 2016), and Subliminal Projects (LA - 2016).
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the list of available work.