Mary Heilmann makes lush, abstract paintings. This first solo exhibition of her work in Britain features recent works together with key pieces from earlier in her career. Heilmann’s work plays in tensions between order and disorder, opulence and austerity, expressiveness and restraint. Exploring the possibilities of abstract painting as a medium through which to convey meaning, she has developed a unique way to embrace the cultural and the personal. The colours and the structures she uses relate to human experiences, from the intensely personal, to shared cultural references experienced through music (from bebop to rock’n’roll), and the movies. Heilmann was born in 1940, initially studied ceramics and writing in San Francisco and Berkeley in the early 1960s before moving to New York in 1968 where she made sculptures and then took up painting at a time when it was a maligned practice. She has maintained an independent trajectory in her work that has earned her the respect and admiration of her contemporaries and subsequent generations. She has shown extensively in America and Europe.
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