Julie Heffernan: Infinite Work in Progress, the 5th installment of the NEW FRONTIERS Series for Contemporary Art, presents twenty-one incredibly beautiful and complex paintings by artist Julie Heffernan. Her biography notes that akin to Magical Realism, Heffernan’s lush self-portraiture utilizes a myriad of art historical references to present a sensual interior narrative, a self-allegory whose half-hidden political agenda is the literal background of the paintings. The dark, Grimm fairy tale-like undercurrent transforms her aristocratic, operatic portraits into a contemporary vanitas or memento mori, acting as both a stylized fantasy and a Bosch-like warning.
She utilizes a broad spectrum of historical references in her paintings to describe an ongoing, ever changing dialogue about the relationship between our planet’s natural forces and its inhabitants. Heffernan’s work explores intricacies of figurative, still-life, and landscape painting while systematically creating complex, painted narratives that connect us to the reality of existence and magical forces that spread across time and space.
Julie Heffernan (American, b. 1956) received her MFA from the Yale School of Art (CT) and her BFA from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Heffernan has been exhibiting widely for the past two decades. She is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the Fulbright-Hayes Grant, National Endowment for the Arts: Individual Fellowship Grant, and New York Foundation for the Arts: Individual Artist Grant, among others.
Heffernan’s work is included in public and private collections internationally. Selected exhibitions include those at The Korean Biennial (Korea), Weatherspoon Art Museum (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 of Art (FL), The American Academy of Arts and Letters (NY), John Michael Kohler Arts Center (WI), The Palmer Museum of Art (PA), National Academy Museum & School (NY), McNay Art Museum (TX), Herter Art Gallery (MA), Mint Museum of Art (NC), and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VA), among numerous others.