Mark Moore Gallery is proud to present Sky’s Falling, an exhibition of paintings by New York artist, Julie Heffernan. Marking the artist's second solo exhibition with the gallery, Sky’s Falling showcases the latest incarnations of an ongoing oeuvre of distinctive self-portraits in which quite interior worlds of personal symbolism are made exterior allegories. Despite their autobiographical quality, Heffernan's images proffer a larger discourse concerning our anthropocentric worldview – a sociopolitical attitude that has resulted in an ecological clash with nature.
As with her previous self-portraits, Heffernan’s recent paintings function as metaphors of a surrogate-self, engendering both the intimate world of the psyche, as well as the societal undercurrents of the present moment. Heffernan’s tableaux are rife with idiosyncratic references that draw the eye deep into a cryptic, mythical puzzle of overabundance waiting to be solved. Personal as they may appear, each composition confounds the singular interpretation, inviting the viewer to hypothesize connotations and frameworks uniquely their own. The artist welcomes us to meander about her private world, beckoning us to consider the state of contemporary consciousness - a mindset defined by its break with past certainties as we contemplate how drastically different our world looks from our 21st century vantage point. Unlike the old masters, whose visual vocabulary the artist references stylistically, Heffernan approaches the genres of still life, portraiture, and landscape much in the same way as a surrealist might. Reminiscent of the works of Dorothea Tanning, Heffernan is less as an empiricist or positivist merely recording reality, but more of a surveyor of the subconscious—the definitive architecture of our reality. Simultaneously, this concentration on personal mythos is filled with an impassioned atmosphere, in which an irrepressible force, namely nature, threatens to reclaim its own narrative. The result is an ominous parable, as if from a Grimm's fairy tale, warning us of our follies, and foretelling an apex at which biology and humanity will collide.
Heffernan (b. 1956, Illinois) received her MFA from Yale School of Art (CT), and has been exhibiting widely for the past two decades. Selected exhibitions include those at The Kwangju Biennial (Korea), Weatherspoon Art Gallery (NC), The Me Museum (Berlin), Knoxville Museum Of Art (TN), Columbia Museum Of Art (SC), Milwaukee Art Museum (WI), The New Museum (NY), The Norton Museum (FL), The American Academy Of Arts And Letters (NY), Kohler Arts Center (WI), The Palmer Museum Of Art (PA), National Academy Of Art (NY), McNay Art Museum (TX), Herter Art Gallery (MA), Mint Museum (NC), Virginia Museum of Fine Art (VA), and Oklahoma City Museum of Art (OK) among numerous others. Her work has also been acquired by many of the institutions listed above.