Ivy Haldeman Biography

Known for her anthropomorphic hot dogs, American artist Ivy Haldeman whimsically plays with notions of desire, consumption, gender, and the body. Her minimalistic figurative paintings of humanised apparel and consumables, limbs, and hand gestures have been shown internationally.

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Life

Born in Colorado, Haldeman grew up with a military father and her mother a textile designer. In the early 2000s, she moved to New York to study at The Cooper Union. She completed her BA on a scholarship in 2008. A year prior, Haldeman received the Pietro and Alfrieda Montana Prize for Excellence in Drawing.

Haldeman's drawing background and her interest in line are evident in the style of her artworks. A key inspiration for her work is the 18th-century Japanese Ukiyo-e prints of artists like Kitagawa Utamaro, known for his line drawings of courtesans.

Artworks

Haldeman's surreal acrylic paintings present anthropomorphic, feminised hot dogs and items of clothing, as well as close-ups of limbs in different poses. She works with a limited palette in a graphic style that places strong emphasis on line. Bright and gleaming, the artist's acrylic canvases layer transparent colours over ground layers of titanium white paint.

Hot Dogs

Ivy Haldeman's 'hot dog lady' has been a recurring character in her art since 2016. The original inspiration for this feminised sausage was a mural of a hot dog in stilettos she saw painted on the wall of a deli in Buenos Aires in 2011. Several years later, Haldeman came across a sketch she had made of this figure, inspiring this direction in her painting.

A sensual and elegant character, Haldeman's hot dog figure is hyper-feminised. She is a tall, red-orange, long-armed, and leggy figure complete with high heels, pouty lips, and long lashes, conveying sultry facial expressions. She is often reclining in a relaxed fashion against a pillowy beige bun, a luxurious bed, couch, or fur coat.

This surreal sausage figure's relaxed poses are evocative of Kitagawa Utamaro's courtesans, as well as vintage advertising, high fashion models, and Instagram starlets. Yet, there is also a banal domesticity in many of her figures' actions, such as reclining to read a book, perhaps after a long day of work.

In Ivy Haldeman's interview with Sleek Magazine, she says, 'There is something wilful about how the lady manifests doing nothing.'

Hands

Ivy Haldeman's art also explores the expressive potential of the hand and its gestures. Alongside close-ups of hand gestures made by her hot dog figures, a series of her works presents hands and fingers acting out poses and movement of the legs and body.

In Hand, Index Linger Back (2018) fingers stand in for legs with the index hesitantly poised behind the middle finger in a coy pose. Haldeman's Double Hands Finger Extend (2021), which featured at JINGART in 2021, presents one hand seeming to chase the other. As the artist explains in an interview for Capsule Shanghai, 'the hands are actors, performing a body language that doesn't necessarily come naturally to them.'

Power Suits

Around 2018, Haldeman also began painting a series of works featuring pairs of headless pastel power suits. The suits, characterised by sharp lines and broad shoulder pads, evoke a sense of the powerful dominant femininity that was created around women in business as a cultural mould from the 1980s. This type is enhanced by the power poses the artist puts them in. Posed side by side or seemingly face to face and in contrasting colours, Haldeman purposefully creates tension between the two suits and their invisible occupants.

In her 2019 Frieze art fair appearance with Downs and Ross, Haldeman exhibited her suits and hot dog paintings side by side, creating a contrast whereby the suit becomes the empty shell from which the female sexualised personae is removed and transferred to the jarring context of the hot dog.

Experimenting with alternate mediums, Haldeman's 2019 Capsule Shanghai show (Hesitate) featured two half-figures drawn in space using pink neon tubes suspended from the ceiling.

Exhibitions

The artist has participated in the following select solo exhibitions: Twice, Downs & Ross, New York (2021); (Hesitate), Capsule Shanghai, Shanghai (2019); Ivy Haldeman, Mayor Projects, Aarhus (2017); Ivy Haldeman: Pulp, Simuvac Projects, New York (2016); and Impossible Geometries Online, Field Projects Gallery, New York (2015).

Select group exhibitions include: A Room of Her Own, How Museum, Shanghai (2020); Personal Private Public, Hauser and Wirth, New York (2019); Noise! Frans Hals, Otherwise, Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, Netherlands (2018); and Finger Food, The Hand, New York (2016).

Art Market

Ivy Haldeman's art has significantly exceeded expectations when put up for sale at auction. One of her highest selling works at auction, Two Suits, Wrist Bent, Cuff to Pocket (Mauve, Peach) (2019), went for sale at US $138,600 at Phillips in 2021—well above its high estimate price of $30,000.

Gallery

On Ocula, the artist is represented by Capsule Shanghai. Recent exhibitions hosted by Capsule Shanghai include (Hesitate) (2019).

Instagram

Ivy Haldeman's Instagram can be found here.

Michael Irwin | Ocula | 2021

Ivy Haldeman Featured Artworks

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