Dia Art Foundation Presents Painting Pictures a New Exhibition of Paintings and Ceramics by Mary Heilmann at the Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridgehampton 

March 29, 2017

Dia Art Foundation Presents Painting Pictures a New Exhibition of Paintings and Ceramics by Mary Heilmann at the Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridgehampton 

New York – Dia Art Foundation presents a new exhibition of paintings and ceramics by Mary Heilmann at the Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridgehampton, New York, from June 29, 2017, to May 27, 2018. The exhibition will include key examples from the early 1970s, just after Heilmann arrived in New York City, alongside works from the late 1980s when she began visiting the East End of Long Island. Several recently finished works that have not been seen outside of her Long Island studio will also be on view, thus marking milestones in her practice to date. Of the recently finished paintings, two are direct responses to the “icons” by Dan Flavin, which were previously on view in this space in Bridgehampton. Although similar to the intimate size and scale of Flavin’s icons, Heilmann’s layered usage of vibrant colors illuminates these works in a different, but no less iconic, manner. 

“Dan Flavin created the Dan Flavin Art Institute with Dia in the early 1980s because of his deep connection to the East End of Long Island. It is a privilege to invite an artist to present at the Dan Flavin Art Institute who shares this meaningful connection to the area,” said Jessica Morgan, Director, Dia Art Foundation. “Mary Heilmann’s works are imbued with autobiographic themes and influences. Through this precise group of works, audiences will experience her distinct, color-saturated works in relation to the pioneering Minimalist artists associated with Dia who were so foundational for Heilmann’s own work.” 

In the early 1970s, Heilmann began creating art that harnessed everyday domestic objects, repurposing them with a boldly hand-painted touch. Arriving in New York in the late 1960s, she was energized by the artists occupying the Minimal and Postminimal art scene. Heilmann’s encounters with the work of artists closely associated with Dia’s history, such as Flavin and Donald Judd, made a significant impression while also delineating a difference between their practice and her approach. As Heilmann recalls in Mary Heilmann: Looking at Pictures (Whitechapel Gallery, 2016): “one of my biggest heroes was Donald Judd, who was totally opposed to painting, but his way of imaging relates to real things that we see in the world, so that inspired my work.”

Heilmann started visiting the East End of Long Island and rented a house in Wainscott, New York, in the late 1980s, where she painted one of the works, Rio Nido (1987), included in this exhibition. She eventually set up her own studio in Bridgehampton, where she continues to work and spend much of her time. Since 1999 all of Heilmann’s paintings and many of her ceramics have been made on Long Island. In addition to the recently finished paintings from Heilmann’s studio, the presentation at the Dan Flavin Art Institute will include recent ceramic works, such as Red Metric (2015) and her signature cups and saucers.

Dia Art Foundation

Founded in 1974, Dia Art Foundation is committed to initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving extraordinary art projects. Dia:Beacon opened in May 2003 in Beacon, New York. Dia also maintains several long-term sites, including Walter De Maria’s The New York Earth Room (1977) and The Broken Kilometer (1979), Max Neuhaus’s Times Square (1977), and Joseph Beuys’s 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks, which was inaugurated at Documenta 7 in 1982), all of which are located in New York City; the Dan Flavin Art Institute (established in 1983) in Bridgehampton, New York; De Maria’s The Lightning Field (1977) in western New Mexico; Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970) in Great Salt Lake, Utah; and De Maria’s The Vertical Earth Kilometer (1977) in Kassel, Germany.

Dia presents temporary exhibitions and installations, performances, lectures, and readings on West 22nd Street in New York City.

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For additional information or materials, contact: Press Department, Dia Art Foundation, press@diaart.org or 212 293 5518.

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