Catharine Clark Gallery: Julie Heffernan, "Waters Rise" | Teresa Braun, "Who From Below" | Ellen Kooi, "Crossings" - 5 Nov 2016 to 23 Dec 2016
Julie Heffernan. Self-Portrait Standing My Ground, 2016
Oil on canvas. 68 x 66 inches.
Julie Heffernan | Waters Rise
Teresa Braun | Who From Below
Ellen Kooi | Crossings *
* New publication available: Undertones. 2015. 25 colour reproductions, essays by Juan Curto Vivas, published by Centro de Arte Alcobendas
November 5 – December 23, 2016
Join us for an opening with artists Julie Heffernan and Teresa Braun
on Saturday, November 5 from 3 - 5 pm
San Francisco, CA: Catharine Clark Gallery presents Waters Rise, a solo exhibition of new work by Julie Heffernan on view November 5 – December 23, 2016. The exhibition features paintings in which Heffernan attempts to imagine how humans might inhabit a future world radically re-shaped by climate change. Heffernan’s work is complemented by a media room exhibit featuring videos by Teresa Braun, and a viewing room presentation of photographs by Ellen Kooi. Heffernan and Braun will be present for an opening reception on Saturday, November 5, from 3 – 5 pm, with artist talks at 2:30pm.
Heffernan’s paintings offer evocative depictions of cataclysmic environments in which the familiar immediately becomes strange: mattresses and household appliances are repurposed for makeshift architecture; branches and roots become entangled with human forms; and suburban houses are renvisioned as tree-top perches for scavenging birds of prey. Often monumental in scale, the intricate visual narratives depicted consider the tensions between the apocalyptic and the bucolic, figuration and landscape, and the precarity of preserving nature in a culture marred by mass consumption, pollution, and oppression. At the same time, Heffernan’s work suggests the possibility for radically inventive life-worlds that encourage hybridity over hierarchy and co-existence over dominance. By imagining a return to a society where our most basic needs – shelter, warmth, intimate connection – rely on harmony and accord, Heffernan compellingly posits that “such scenarios could mark the unleashing of incredible creativity in us, as we re-learn skills long forgotten, like climbing trees, building shelters and meting kindness.” Her canvases, in turn, powerfully suggest a future where ingenuity can overcome adversity, and where creativity can affect our chance for survival.
Teresa Braun’s video work, by comparison, draws on complex genealogies and histories of ancestral ritual informed by her Mennonite upbringing in rural Canada. Her media room presentation at Catharine Clark Gallery features three new videos inspired by family lore about three sisters whose bodies are buried underneath a tree, their bodies becoming taken in and entangled with the roots. Her work invites consideration of reproduction, mortality, and the continued hold of familial bonds across generations.
Ellen Kooi’s newest presentation of photographs, Crossings, present near-cinematic images of young women in various natural and built environments. Her vividly rendered photographs are suffused with untold narrative and exhibit an intimacy that belies their careful orchestration and composition.
JULIE HEFFERNAN was born in Peoria, Illinois and raised in Northern California, Julie Heffernan received her BFA in painting and printmaking from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her Masters of Fine art in painting and printmaking from Yale School of Art and Architecture. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Her richly conveyed works have a baroque sensibility and refer to 16th and 17th century Netherlandish Vanitas paintings brought into a contemporary idiom. Heffernan’s compositions range from grand ballrooms and ornate picture galleries, to verdant natural settings and imagined environments. She often employs sophisticated compositional strategies to convey complex psychological or subtle, politically-charged narratives, which she thinks of as a kind of self-portraiture even when the paintings are not overtly figurative.
Featured in numerous New York galleries since 1985, Heffernan’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Catharine Clark Gallery since 2006, and at P.P.O.W. in New York since 2001. Further, she has exhibited at Megumi Ogita Gallery in Tokyo, Japan since 2008, and at Mark Moore Gallery, Culver City, CA since 2009. A 2013-14 traveling museum exhibit of her work titled Sky is Falling was organized by the Palo Alto Art Center and the Crocker Art Museum with an attendant monograph and an essay by Rebecca Solnit. In 2006, the University Art Museum at the University of Albany, New York, traveled a mid-career retrospective of Heffernan’s work titled Everything that Rises, also accompanied by a catalogue. Heffernan’s work is often included in exhibitions focusing on environmental concerns, such as Environmental Impact curated by David Wagner, which traveled the country for more than five years. Her work has garnered reviews in Artforum, Art in America, Artnews, the New York Times, among other prominent publications. Waters Rise is Heffernan’s fourth solo exhibition with Catharine Clark Gallery, where her work has been represented since 2005.
TERESA BRAUN is a visual and performance artist who was mentored by Julie Heffernan while studying at Montclair State University. She draws on her Mennonite background to tell tales of ancestors circulating through animal, plant, and human bodies. She studied sculpture at the University of Manitoba and received her BFA with Honors in 2011. Braun relocated to the United States in 2013 and received her MFA from Montclair State University in 2015. Her work has been shown in NYC at Brian Morris Gallery, Westbeth Gallery, Central Booking Art Space, Glasshouse, and Brooklyn Fireproof East and internationally at The Plug-In Institute of Contemporary Art (Winnipeg) and La Petite Mort Gallery (Ottawa). She is a founding member of Asylos performance collective and has been an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center. She currently lives and works in Montclair, NJ and NYC.ELLEN KOOI received her art education at the Art Academy ABK Minerva in Groningen, Netherlands and completed her post graduate studies in Art at the Rijksacademy in Amsterdam. Shot at a wide angle, landscape orientation, the beguiling color and natural scenery of her images contradict the intense orchestration of her compositions. Hours of labored control over lighting and arrangement of her subjects are part of each photograph. Every image appears to have been shot in the middle of a dark fairytale set in the hinterlands of Holland. Uncanny disquiet weaves a characteristic thread through the narrative, non-linear style of her larger body of work.
Her work has been featured in exhibitions at numerous national and international institutions, including recently at the Institut Neerlandais, Paris, France in 2010. Her work is also exhibited at The Fields Sculpture Park at Omni International Arts Center in Ghent, New York; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Castilla Y Leon in Spain; the Moscow House of Photography in Russia; Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky; and Hague Museum of Photography in the Netherlands. Her work is part of the public collections of both national and international institutions such as Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Castilla Y Leon; 21c Museum in Louisville, Kentucky; the French State Collection in Paris; the Marsh Collection in London; the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands, and many others. Kooi currently lives and works in the Netherlands and has exhibited with Catharine Clark Gallery since 2007.
Catharine Clark Gallery
248 Utah Street
(Between 15th & 16th)
San Francisco, CA 94103