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12 Sep 2010

MICHAEL HEIZER: MARKINGS opening September 14 at Nohra Haime Gallery

MICHAEL HEIZER: Untitled (Black and Gold), 1979, oil,aluminum powder on canvas, 111 x 71 3/4 in. 282 x 182.2 cm.

Nohra Haime Gallery


OPENING: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 from 6 - 8 p.m. DATES: September 14 - October 23, 2010 FOR MORE INFORMATION: Ana Maria de la Ossa at 212-888-3550

Ana Maria de la Ossa

Nohra Haime Gallery
730 Fifth Avenue, Suite 701
New York, NY 10019

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MICHAEL HEIZER: MARKINGS, an exhibition featuring a series of abstract minimalist works will be on view at the Nohra Haime Gallery from September 14 through October 23.

Driven by his explorations of land sites and familiarity with the topography of arid regions, Heizer conveys through markings his concern with the concepts of time, movement, space and emptiness. This is certainly revealed in his paintings of 1978-79 where on a white surface, layers of earth-tone pigment are applied with paint rollers following free-hand vertical lines - gestural and dynamic method. Heizer creates subtle shade variations and intricate broken patterns through overlapping wide slabs of paint in rectangular configurations, changing the pressure he uses to apply the paint. The combination of the whole results in rugged, yet controlled abstractions that have affinities with forms – depressions, nets and ripples – found in the desert landscape.

Like land that has been attacked, the complex rhythms and flickering forms seen in his monochromatic works of 1978 – executed with brown latex – seem to suggest traces left on the earth's surface by the effects of weathering and erosion.

At the same time, the fragmented strokes may be associated with tracks derived from tractors employed for massive earth moving. This is manifested, for instance, in Untitled (Black and Gold), 1979 where with a roller the artist builds up coarse layers of aluminum powder mixed with oil – a new medium Heizer began to employ in 1979. However, it may be suggested that some patterns take the form of rock drawings and inscriptions made by prehistoric Native Americans, most likely informed by Heizer's archaeological explorations. With this in mind, the shadowed areas that give the sense of volume may be read as terrain elevations, or ancient ceremonial mounds, which Heizer knew existed throughout the Midwest.

Although the forms in these compositions may spring from Heizer's recollections of his ventures into the mountains of Mexico, Central America and the deserts of California and Nevada, their non-representational approach allows for endless interpretations. Undeniably, the juxtaposition of positive and negative space that introduce ever-changing suggestions of depth, space and movement, unite to become a topographic map-like landscape viewed from an imagined bird's eye.

Born in Berkeley, California, in 1944, Michael Heizer emerged in the 1960s as a pioneer of the land art or earth art movement. His work can be seen in major public spaces around the world. Amidst his large-scale earthworks are Double Negative (1969) on the edge of the Virgin River mesa, in Nevada; City (begun in 1970), an enormous complex in the desert of Lincoln County, Nevada, and Effigy Tumuli (1985), a monumental construction created along the Illinois River. Heizer has exhibited extensively throughout the United States and internationally, including the Whitney Museum of American Art (1968 and 1977), the Venice Biennale (1970), The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1971), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1984), and the Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy (1997). Selected collections include Basel/Kuntsmuseum, Switzerland; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; Oakland Museum; the City of Seattle; the State of Michigan; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Marty Margulies Collection, Miami; the Menil Collection, Houston and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. LEVITATED MASS, from 1982 can be seen outside the IBM building on Madison and 56th Street, one block away from the gallery. Heizer currently lives in Nevada, where he continues his work on the project City.

DATES: September 14 – October 23, 2010
OPENING: Tuesday, September 14, from 6 to 8 p.m.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ana Maria de la Ossa at 212-888-3550