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when the water rises: recent paintings by Julie Heffernan


  • Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art 2200 Parks Avenue Virginia Beach, VA, 23451 United States (map)
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Julie Heffernan’s recent paintings create alternative habitats in response to environmental disaster and planetary excess. With rising waters, she imagines worlds in trees or on rafts in which undulating mattresses, tree boughs, and road signs guide the journey. Construction cones interrupt the landscape signaling places to stop, enter tiny interior worlds, and reflect on the human condition—its feckless activity, violence, failure, and redemption. Heffernan tends these alternative environments to safeguard bounties we cannot live without. In other moments, she names names and points fingers to those people and activities implicated in recent calamities of both the physical and socio-political environment. Intricately wrought, Heffernan’s paintings evoke the fantastical allegory of Hieronymus Bosch and the sublime of Thomas Cole and Albert Bierstadt.

Julie Heffernan received her MFA in Painting from Yale and a BFA from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Heffernan has received numerous grants including an NEA, NYFA, and Fullbright Fellowship and is in the collection of major museums including the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. She is represented by P.P.O.W  in New York and Catharine Clark in San Francisco. Heffernan is a Professor of Fine Arts at Montclair State University.

Earlier Event: September 21
The Factory: A Happening at Studio Two Three
Later Event: October 12
Double Take: The Art of Elizabeth King