In Mary Heebner’s new body of work Intimacies/Intimismos there is the suggestion of the male and female form, illuminated by a selective arsenal of materials including powdered copper pigment, watercolor and graphite on rag and Sekishu paper, but never once does Heebner objectify the body. The site where the streams seep into the ocean causing a ripple in the tide inspires “Wetlands Muse." Heebner’s rich palette of Copper, Ochre, and Rose transforms the body into ripples in the sand and assumes a near tangible quality. The body becomes part of the Earth and develops into a state as complex as the archaeological strata, a fossil yet to be discovered. Heebner insists that our bodies are more connected to the natural world of elements than they are tied to gender, which is why she does not draw inspiration from models rather uses her own body as a reference. Using her hands to bring shape to the figures, Heebner injects a surprising sculptural element into the work by making her materials malleable and luring form to life from sheets of fragile paper. Inspired by the writings of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, Heebner selected works from “Poems of Love” after completing Intimacies/Intimismos. As if they are kindred spirits inspired by the sensuality of the body, the sea, and the rhythm of natural life, Neruda’s writings beautifully compliment Heebner’s paintings (and vise versa) as they both embrace the vulnerability, passion, and complexity of the human form.
Intimacies/Intimismos was also published in a newly translated book of Neruda’s poem in tandem with Chile’s 200th anniversary and the Consulado General de Chile en Los Angeles sponsored the exhibit. In wake of the catastrophic earthquake that struck Chile, Heebner and Edward Cella Art + Architecture have pledged to donate a percentage of painting and book sales to contribute toward the relief effort.
Wetlands Muse, 2008
Pigment print, water media, graphite, on paper
66 x 41 inches
From the Muse: Elements Series