Julie Heffernan is known for her lush and sensuous large-scale figurative (and still life) paintings that at first glance seem to have stepped out of either the Italian or Spanish Renaissance or 17th century Dutch genre still-life or grand manner landscape painting. However, Heffernan’s concerns are clearly of the late 20th Century as her symbolism references a combination of psychological issues surrounding feminism, gender issues, class structure and motherhood. Her ability to cross-reference centuries and issues, both political and private, in large-scale figurative paintings, makes Heffernan one of the most unique artists working today.
Heffernan continues to explore the ways that figuration can be used to reveal the intricacies of the female sensibility, without denigration or simplification, that typically characterizes portrayals of woman in historical and contemporary art. Heffernan strives to expand our notion of beauty and present one that permits women to see themselves as more complex, mutable and in control of their experience. Her work is rife with potent symbolic meanings; the womb/motherhood, infant/Jesus /religion, interior-exterior/human psychology-life. Beauty is presented, but so is its underbelly. The narrative is complex, the figure exudes knowledge and power. The world is clearly a female construct.
Heffernan has been exhibiting widely for the past two decades including The Korean Biennial; Weatherspoon Art Gallery, NC ; Tampa Museum Of Art, Fl; 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, among numerous others. She has exhibited with Littlejohn Contemporary since 1987.
2004 exhibition at Kopeikin Gallery;
Essays by Martin Fay, Anne Landsman, others. $25.00
2001 exhibition at Littlejohn Contemporary & PPOW;
Essay: “Strange Stories and The Balm” by James Elkins. $25.00
1997 exhibition at Littlejohn Contemporary. $20.00
1996 exhibition at Littlejohn Contemporary;
Essays: “Self in the Sphere of the Still Life” by Arlene Raven. $20.00
1994 exhibition at Littlejohn Contemporary;
Essay: “On Being a Woman. Julie Heffernan’s Paintings” by Donald Kuspit. $25.00