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False Tree #2, 2003
24 × 25-1/2 inches
Untitled (Orphic Series #6), 2003
15-3/4 × 15-3/4 inches
Untitled (Rising), 2003
34 × 32 inches
American abstract painter Willy Heeks opens a solo exhibition of recent works at Brian Gross Fine Art on Thursday, January 8th, with a reception for the artist from 5:30-7:30 pm. In his third solo show in San Francisco, Heeks further explores his concern for complex spatial relationships through his use of pattern painting, organic line, and sensuous fields of color.
This exhibition features Heeks' most recent paintings on panel and on canvas. These works, ranging from just over one foot to over four feet in height, are complex abstract compositions comprised of overlapping drips, shapes, veils and striations of pigment and color. Layering stenciled patterns and graffiti-like imagery on abstract spatial grounds, Heeks deftly combines these disparate elements. Referencing nature, but never becoming literal, forms hover in ethereal spaces, hinting at a narrative that never materializes. Amidst this chaos of organic line and vibrant color is a more cerebral framework that informs and controls the improvisational appearance of the work. Heeks creates a precarious balance a controlled chaos between the gestural abstraction and the more literal imagery in these tension-filled, dynamic compositions.
Willy Heeks, born in 1951, has gained a national reputation over the last several decades, exhibiting in New York, Los Angeles, and throughout the United States. He received his BFA from the University of Rhode Island in Kingston in 1973 and attended the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study program that same year. He was an NEA fellowship recipient in 1978, 1987, and 1989 and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grantee in 1997. His work is featured in museum and corporate collections, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; Chase Manhattan Bank, New York; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; among others.