Miles McEnery Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent paintings by Heather Gwen Martin. The artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery, “Verse,” will open on 9 June at 515 West 22nd Street and remain on view through 23 July 2022. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue featuring an essay by Kara L. Rooney. In conjunction with her gallery show, Martin’s work will also be the subject of a two-person museum exhibition, “The Lyrical Moment: Modern and Contemporary Abstraction by Helen Frankenthaler and Heather Gwen Martin,” curated by Christian Viveros-Fauné, at the University of South Florida’s Contemporary Art Museum, on view June 17–July 30, 2022.
Martin’s suite of fourteen recent paintings exist in the vein of poetry, music, and movement. Line, form, and color enliven a dimension where energies and forces traverse the terrain of the canvas as a means to communicate the elusive. Dissolving any sense of objectivity, the LA-based artist avoids preconceptions, allowing her compositions to materialize with immediacy, experimentation, and improvisation.
Her process begins as intense, physical endeavors, which she later hones with touch, strength, and control. Elegant lines, precise brushwork, and a vibrant color palette are signature elements of her work. Martin describes, “With these paintings comes a continued exploration of perception and consciousness. The exhibition is an entry point into the realm of sensation and desire where the resonance of experience vibrates.” The paintings, while resolutely abstract, always point back to a human encounter with place, made all the more palpable by evidence of the artist’s hand and her use of titling.
Rooney explains, “It is here that we arrive at the crux of Martin’s practice, anchored by its triangulation of color, language, and shape. The effect is one of hallucinatory clarity; these are not merely paintings, but rather, encounters. At stake in the work is a sensory overload of representations played out through a visual, haptic, and geographic strata of resemblances.”
Heather Gwen Martin (b. 1977, Saskatoon, Canada) studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL, and the University of California, San Diego, CA.
Recent solo exhibitions include “Verse,” Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; “Nerve Lines and Fever Dreams,” L.A. Louver, Venice, CA; Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; “Currents,” L.A. Louver, Venice, CA; L.A. Louver, Venice, CA; “Landing,” Murals of La Jolla, La Jolla, CA; “Rogue Wave Projects: Heather Gwen Martin,” L.A. Louver, Venice, CA; “Pattern Math,” Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, Culver City, CA; and “Recreational Systems,” Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, Santa Monica, CA.
Recent group exhibitions include “The Lyrical Moment: Modern and Contemporary Abstraction by Helen Frankenthaler and Heather Gwen Martin” (curated by Christian Viveros-Fauné), University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL; “Flying Colors,” Contemporary Art Matters, Columbus, OH; “By Way of Laughter and Trembling,” Durden and Ray, Los Angeles, CA; “45 at 45: L.A. Louver Celebrates 45 Years with 45 Artists,” L.A. Louver, Venice, CA; “Chaos and Awe: Painting for the 21st Century” (curated by Mark Scala), Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN (traveled to Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA); “The Agency of Art,” University Art Gallery, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA; “Intersecting at the Edge,” Claremont Museum of Art, Claremont, C A; “Evolver,” L.A. Louver, Venice, C A; “Shaping Color,” L.A. Louver, Venice, CA; “On the Road: American Abstraction,” David Klein Gallery, Detroit, MI; “California Connections: Selections from the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego” (curated by Anthony Graham), California Center for the Arts, Escondido, CA; “How Many Miles to Babylon: Recent Paintings from Los Angeles and New York,” C24 Gallery, New York, NY; “Atmospheric Abstraction,” Quint Gallery, La Jolla, CA; “ Touch,” El Segundo Museum of Art, El Segundo, CA; “Younger Than George,” George Lawson Gallery, San Francisco, CA; “View from the Edge of the Soul,” Durden and Ray, Los Angeles, CA; and “NOW-ISM: Abstraction Today,” Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH.
Her work is included in the Equinor Art Collection, Houston, TX; Hallmark Art Collection, Kansas City, MO; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, CA, and the Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH.
Martin lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.