Heidi Hahn: If Pyramids were Castles I’d Build you a Home
Bosse & Baum | London Collective on Vortic Collect
26 June to 10 July 2020
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I have an ultimate goal of what I want the painting to do, but it rarely turns out that way. The moment I give up an agenda, that’s when the paint takes over…
– Heidi Hahn
Bosse & Baum is pleased to announce a solo presentation of new works on paper by Heidi Hahn, exhibited together for the first time, as part of London Collective on Vortic Collect. London Collective brings together 40 of the UK’s best commercial galleries to present exhibitions and artists’ projects on Vortic Collect, the new extended reality app for the art world. The Collective of art dealers and gallerists have come together in recognition that this is a defining moment of change in how art is accessed, particularly in response to the travel restrictions which mean many people are unable to visit exhibitions in person. As part of the Collective, galleries are able to support one another by encouraging equal viewer opportunities and the sharing of audiences via Vortic Collect. This is the first opportunity in finding ways to work more closely in the future and was born out of a Whatsapp group for London galleries, created at the beginning of the pandemic as a way to share intel and ideas which all galleries could benefit from.
The works on paper Untitled, (But Loved) 1 – 7, 2015 – 2019 are part of a body of work by the American painter Heidi Hahn, which was started on Fischers Island, off the coast of Connecticut at the residency Lighthouse Works in 2015, continued during the summer of 2019 at MacDowell, a residency in New Hampshire, USA and recently completed in her studio in Brooklyn, New York. The artist’s titles are usually an umbrella to a whole series of works, by giving them the same title and numbering the works, she is suggesting that the title is arbitrary to the experience of the work itself. The figures are set loosely against rendered backgrounds that hint at a site within what is largely an abstract surface. This ambiguity is intentional and evidences the artist’s refusal of specificity, confusion of temporalities, bodies and interior/exterior spaces. The women pictured suggest symbolic figures and seem to be in fleeting mental states. Awash with pattern and dynamic treatment of colour to reflect this, Hahn made subtle changes to the works over time, the story is embedded individually in each one, but they all come together as an animation of sorts. Like numerous people recounting a story and adding the details that make it unique to their version, each work captures the suggestion or residue of feeling preserved over time.
Heihi Hahn’s sumptuously atmospheric and layered use of paint, in conversation with art historical traditions, draws the viewer into a psychological space that evokes our attachment to the female form and how it is processed through traditional and contemporary readings of the male gaze. Her female figures appear at once distant from the viewer, free from the gaze, absorbed in their banality of inaction, and at the same time relatable and accessible. Gestural, fluid, and spectral, Heidi Hahn’s works reframe and re-contextualise her subjects, exploring the ambiguous and shifting boundaries between public and private spheres.
About the artist:
Heidi Hahn (b.1982, Los Angeles) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She is a painter known for her vibrant palette, melting figures, and atmospheric moods. She received her BA in Fine Art from Cooper Union in 2006, and her MFA from Yale University in 2014. Hahn is an acting Professor of Painting and Drawing at Alfred University, NY, and has been the recipient of several awards, residencies, and fellowships, including the Jerome Foundation Grant, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Residency, Madison, ME. She has exhibited nationally and internationally in numerous group and solo shows, including an exhibition at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, KS, in 2018 and an exhibition at the LSU Museum of Art, LA, in 2019. Hahn has been awarded several residencies and awards, including the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and a Jerome Foundation for the Arts Grant. Her work has also been reviewed in numerous publications, including The New York Times and Hyperallergic.
London Collective on Vortic Collect
London Collective is a new section on the Vortic Collect app, bringing together 40 of the UK’s best commercial galleries to present exhibitions on the new extended reality app for the art world. London Collective consists of 40 art dealers and gallerists who came together in recognition that this is a defining moment of change in how art is accessed. Whilst a number of London galleries have recently reopened, travel and other restrictions mean many people are still unable to visit exhibitions in person. In the London Collective section of the Vortic Collect app, galleries will show specially curated presentations, providing them with an additional virtual space to complement their physical gallery programmes. The new initiative enables galleries to support one another by sharing their audiences and enables visitors to simulate the experience of visiting multiple London gallery locations.