FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Julie Heffernan's Fantastical Self-Portraits Come to Life at the Crocker
Sky is Falling: Paintings by Julie Heffernan
On view October 20, 2013 through January 26, 2014
Sacramento, Calif. – September 24, 2013 - The Crocker Art Museum is proud to present Sky is Falling: Paintings by Julie Heffernan which will be on view October 20, 2013 through January 26, 2014. Drawn to the richness of Renaissance and Baroque painting, Julie Heffernan mines the landscape, still-life and portraiture of earlier centuries for her very contemporary mode of visual storytelling.
Known for her resplendent fantasies centered on self-portraits in various guises, Heffernan employs the refined technique, rich palette, and bountiful detail of historical European painting. In her work, these traditions are transformed into unexpected, seductive, and often anxious stories about self, society, and our imperiled environment. Heffernan's skillful fusion of historical styles evolves in a grand manner, filling large canvases. This exhibition of 15 recent oil paintings offers odysseys into her enigmatic worlds.
Heffernan's borrowings in combination with her own invention are uncanny, and like the interpretation of dreams, what is familiar can be elusive. The realistically rendered occupies invented realms, and strange phenomena occur in otherwise naturalistic backgrounds. The surprises or twists and turns she orchestrates serve to draw us into the visual space of the painting, much as a movie pulls us into the imagined world of the filmmaker.
More recently, environmental issues have preoccupied the artist, and her art expresses both unease and hope. Warnings and miracles commingle in the details, as is true of the painting Self-Portrait with Falling Sky. Amid a shower of boulders a carved figure of Ganesha—the destroyer of vanity, selfishness, and pride—suggests many meanings, but perhaps most importantly incriminates our hubris.
Heffernan, a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Yale University School of Art, has been featured in yearly group exhibitions around the country, and her work has garnered critical attention in numerous publications including Artforum, Art in America, Artnews, and The New York Times.
Organized by the Palo Alto Art Center, the works in this exhibition are lent from various Northern California collections.
The Crocker Art Museum was the first art museum in the Western U.S. and remains one of the leading art museums in California today. Established in 1885, the Museum features one of the country's finest collections of Californian art, exceptional holdings of master drawings, a comprehensive collection of international ceramics, as well as European, Asian, African, and Oceanic art. The Crocker is located at 216 O Street in Downtown Sacramento. Museum hours are 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Tuesday–Sunday; 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Thursdays. Every third Sunday of the month is "Pay What You Wish Sunday" sponsored by Western Health Advantage. For more information, call (916) 808-7000 or visit crockerartmuseum.org.