Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to announce the 2013 Texas Artist of the Year exhibition, Group Show: Rachel Hecker. The exhibition features a selection of new works in sculpture, painting, and installation that steer away from the artist’s usual style. ‘It is largely a show of anomalies’ says Hecker. ‘I work serially, and on projects that are linear and investigated over time. I also make things that have nothing to do with what I am doing (I indulge ideas that are persistent and pestering but out of context) and this is the work that is in this show.’
‘Although there is no conceptual glue, form, or subject matter that binds the work, there are themes and concerns that inform much of it. I have a complicated relationship to painting (the noun). I love its history and deplore its authority. I believe that its quaintness – as a gesture in the face of technology – is a great strength, and its torpidity an ultimate disappointment. I worry about its (and arts) dubious function as commodity. All of these things are poked at here, often with humor as a stick, and wryly.’ An exhibition catalog will be available, featuring an introduction by ALH.
Rachel Hecker was born in Providence, RI. She received a BFA in Sculpture from Moore College of Art, and an MFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. She moved to Houston in 1982 to help Allan Hacklin establish the prestigious Core Residency Program at the Glassell School of Art. It was supposed to be an eight month job that lasted nine and a half years. She was the Associate Director of the Core Program at the Glassell School of Art from 1982-1991 and is now an Associate Professor of painting in the School of Art at the University of Houston. She has shown in numerous museum exhibitions such as Postmodern Americans: A Selection at the Menil Collection in Houston, and in commercial and university galleries and alternative spaces throughout the United States. One-person exhibitions have included venues such as the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, the Dallas Museum of Art, and ArtPace in San Antonio.
Hecker has received extensive critical attention in newspapers and magazines including: The Los Angeles Times, Art in America, Art Papers, and ArtReview (published in London). A portfolio of her work was reproduced in Grand Street in 1996. She received a National Endowment for the Arts Award in painting, and is represented in many public and private collections including the Dallas, San Antonio and New Orleans Museums of Art; The Museum of Fine Art, Houston; the General Services Administration, and the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas. Hecker has participated in civic art programs as a design team member for various projects and received the 1999 Artist Award from the American Institute of Architects Houston Chapter for those contributions.
Rachel Hecker’s recent series, which features a trio of portraits of celebrities that the artist has reimagined as Jesus, received the inaugural 2012 Texas Contemporary Award, a $10,000 cash prize, which celebrates national and/or international artists who are navigating new and innovative directions in contemporary art. Jurors included guest curator & Chief Curator of Contemporary Art Franklin Sirmans and the Director of CAMH Bill Arning. Rachel Hecker is represented in Houston by Texas Gallery.