NEW YORK, NEW YORK–MILES MCENERY GALLERY is pleased to announce a presentation of new paintings by Heather Gwen Martin. The exhibition will open 14 November at 525 West 22nd Street and remain on view through 21 December. A public opening reception will be held for the artist on 14 November from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated publication featuring an essay by Christian Viveros-Fauné.
Heather Gwen Martin’s paintings walk the line between deliberation and spontaneity. Dissolving any sense of objectivity, the artist avoids preconceptions, allowing her compositions to materialise with immediacy, experimentation, and improvisation.
Martin’s paintings begin as intense, physical endeavours, which she later hones with touch, strength, and control. Each canvas is proportional to the artist’s body: the smallest relating to her head and the largest to her full body and arm span. Elegant lines, precise brushwork, and a vibrant colour palette are signature elements of her work, which she makes entirely by hand, employing the traditional materials of oil paint and linen.
Martin begins each painting by methodically mixing paint, creating a unique palette with a keen sensitivity to balance. She primes the linen with an oil ground, allowing the natural weave and texture to reveal itself. With broad brushstrokes she then paints a field of colour, allowing her mind and hand to find their rhythm. Out of this field, forms and lines emerge—some preplanned others intuitively developed. Martin revisits each form and line with multiple layers of paint, which lead to slight shifts in colour and shape at each pass. While forms seem flat and hard-edged when viewed from afar, the warmth and nuance of human hand is revealed at closer look—an effect that Martin celebrates.
Viveros-Fauné remarks, 'Martin has mobilised one of the planet’s most ancient analog technologies–painting–to hijack and enhance the look of our digital world. As a result, her canvases speak the lingua franca of computer-aided visuals but encourage mindfulness.'
HEATHER GWEN MARTIN (b. in Saskatoon, Canada in 1977) studied at the University of California in San Diego and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois.
Selected solo exhibitions include Currents, L.A. Louver, Venice, CA; Heather Gwen Martin, 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, Los Angeles, CA; Recreational Systems, Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, Santa Monica, CA; Transpositional, Luis De Jesus Seminal Projects, San Diego, CA; and Paintings, Lombardo Studios Gallery, Culver City, CA.
Selected group exhibitions include Chaos and Awe: Painting for the 21st Century, (curated by Mark Scala), Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN (traveled to Chrysler Museum of Art , Nor folk, VA); The Agency of Art, University Art Gallery, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA; Intersecting at the Edge, Karl Benjamin, Heather Gwen Martin, Eric Zammitt, Claremont Museum of Art, Claremont, CA; Evolver, L.A. Louver, Venice, CA; Shaping Color, L.A. Louver, Venice, CA; On the Road: American Abstraction, David Klein Gallery, Detroit, MI; and California Connections: Selections from the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, (curated by Anthony Graham), California Center for the Arts, Escondido, CA.
Her work is included in the permanent collections of Equinor Art Collection, Houston, TX; Hallmark Art Collection, Kansas City, MO; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, CA; and Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH.
Heather Gwen Martin lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
Press release courtesy Miles McEnery Gallery.