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Abstract PaintingMary Heilmann
Mary Heilmann describes a breakthrough she had of combining gestural and hard-edge abstracton in a single painting, combining the legacies of Willem de Kooning and Josef Albers.More information and credits
Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Mark Falstad & Joel Shapiro. Sound: Roger Phenix. Editor: Paulo Padilha. Artwork Courtesy: Mary Heilmann. Special Thanks: Wexner Center for the Arts.
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For every piece of Mary Heilmann’s work—abstract paintings, ceramics, and furniture—there is a backstory. Imbued with recollections, stories spun from her imagination, and references to music, aesthetic influences, and dreams, her paintings are like meditations or icons. Her expert and sometimes surprising treatment of paint—alternately diaphanous and goopy—complements a keen sense of color that glories in the hues and light that emanate from her laptop, and finds inspiration in the saturated colors of TV cartoons. Her compositions are often hybrid spatial environments that juxtapose two- and three-dimensional renderings in a single frame, join several canvases into new works, or create diptychs of paintings and photographs in the form of prints, slideshows, and videos.