Jenny Heishman: Band Practice

Jenny Heishman
Band Practice
November 1 – 30
Opening Reception:
Thursday, November 1
6 – 8pm

James Harris Gallery is pleased to announce Band Practice, our first exhibition of work by Jenny Heishman. The solo exhibit includes new work, as well as sculptures previously on view in Heishman’s 2011 Betty Bowen Award show at the Seattle Art Museum. This gallery installation considers the ways in which Heishman redefines how we think about and interact with sculpture through her practice of bringing together unexpected, often overlooked materials in surprising ways.

The show’s title, Band Practice reflects the artist’s playful yet austere approach to her medium. Heishman’s sculptures engage the notion of play and surprise while maintaining an exacting tone. By utilizing ordinary materials (such as everyday objects like paper, thumbtacks, and thread) in unorthodox ways, the artist intrigues the viewer, causing us to re-think the aesthetic components and spatial possibilities of each work of art. Notions of mass, volume, and density, as well as color, pattern, and symmetry are central to these works. The importance of texture is also paramount in pieces like “floor tom,” whose shiny surface, a combination of painted pink burlap and shiny aluminum leaf, lends it a surprisingly sensual character.

The optical sensuality of these sculptures is enhanced by the repetition of soft, complementary colors and lightweight, often delicate materials. In one work, strands of thread are pulled across the top of a blue-and-white striped empty cardboard box, their ends tacked to the edges in an orderly, repetitive fashion. The ironic fragility of this sculpture’s individual components–that a broken thread could easily be replaced with another–is not lost in this work, entitled, “drawer.” It is precisely these sorts of art/life crossovers that Heishman recurrently emphasizes in her re-contextualization of objects. The extraordinary power of looking and reconsidering can bring any real object into the realm of the unreal, or into a boundless stream of interpretations.

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