Valerie Hegarty’s installations create dream-like transitional spaces and objects that expand and fracture the austerity of an exhibition space while dismantling the constructs of image- and object-making. Informed by the current turbulent state of our country while also excavating from America’s past, Hegarty’s work often turns the gallery into a dramatic place of change. Working with fragile materials such as foamcore, paper, paint and glue, she exploits a scrupulous mimicry of objects only to demolish them by devices often associated with their historical significance. On one level the viewer can become overwhelmed with an inquisitive desire to determine what is real and what is constructed and on another, can decide to revel in the make-believe. Hegarty’s ruins suggest a path of destruction and chaos that can be traced from early colonialism to the most recent effects of globalization. Her work portrays a pivotal moment in our narrative – one that is full of pathos yet buoyed by the hope that comes with change. (source: Fountainhead Residency) Our sincere thanks to arpeggia for this Curator’s Monday.
The artwork of Valerie Hegarty born 1967 in Burlington, Vermont, USA almost seems to hover between two worlds: those of art and real life. Much of Hegarty’s work appears to begin with a classically styled piece of “fine art”: a still life painting, or presidential portrait for example. In some way, then, the real world begins to impose itself on the work. Some frames and stretchers begin growing branches and sprouting leaves. Other paintings are riddled with bullets or burnt by fire. The story inside the painting violently mingles with a story outside of it. The painted world and the lived world meet to tempestuous result. via Hi-Fructose
Hegarty’s depiction of destruction is a departure point to examine larger issues of erasure, repression, the uncanny, metamorphosis, death and rebirth. Hegarty painstakingly crafts her works from foam core, papier mâché and ink-jet prints on canvas that she then paints, carves, twists, drapes, amputates, and grafts to create mutated originals where the fictional disasters behave as a catalyst for the works coming back to life. - thru May 5
Valerie Hegarty’s artwork of destruction involves taking reconstructed masterpieces or other works that evoke a sense of history or myth, and then creating a kind of falsified ruination or destruction. A colonial ship, for example, will appear to be sinking outside its canvas. Not only is there beauty in the destruction and decay but the works arouse a sense of tragedy and wonder.
The exhibition, which refers to Alan Weisman’s book The World Without Us, “poses a fascinating thought experiment: if you take every living human off the Earth, what traces of us would linger and what would disappear? Will the footprint of humanity ever fade away completely or have humans so irrevocably altered the environment that the impact of man will continue to shape the earth’s landscape far beyond the days of our departure?“ Curated by gallerists Keith Schweitzer and Jason Patrick Voegele, the show offers a deftly balanced sampling of such scenarios. Kate Clark’s animal-human hybrid sculptures gaze knowingly as they lay before Lori Nix’s photographically enlarged diorama of a shopping mall ravaged by time and nature. Valerie Hegarty’s “Autumn on the Wissahicken with Tree“ appears to age the gallery itself. Other standouts include two large works by Sarah Bereza and a cinematically apocalyptic oil by Jean-Pierre Roy.