Solo Exhibition : Nobile & Amundsen
Opening Reception: May 16, 2014 6-9 PM
Elizabeth Huey's paintings and collages reflect a broad spectrum of quandaries surrounding humanity and healing. Luminous pairs exchange intimate caresses while individuals immerse themselves in remedies and recreation. Myriad forces — nature, architecture, and history — impact the minds and perceptions of each protagonist. Chaos and order collide and coalesce in the paint handling and spatial constructs. Excavating imagery from a diverse array of sources, Huey continually draws from her own photographs as well as her ever-expanding collection of found photos.
“Violet Moonrise,” while picaresque, suggests something more formidable upon closer inspection, and not all depicted players are congruous with the poolside idyll. Huey's paintings and collages are populated with faceless, scantily clad figures, but their potential for salaciousness is undercut by her sunshiny settings: bathers recline poolside or in oceanfront relaxation. Reverberating with vivid color, her landscapes blur the borders between intimacy, eeriness, and escapism. Though culled from a collection of her own and found photographs, the artist's work lacks specific landmarks, having more in common with dreams than actual snapshots. Click here on Exhibition A to purchase.
The history of psychology has long informed both Huey’s paintings and her life. She makes no secret of the fact that she was confined in an institution for two years when she was a wayward adolescent. Later, before she turned to art, she received a degree in psychology. Still, the mind and the treatment of its ailments, has long been her subject.
In this new body of work, Huey replaces sanitariums and institutions with resort spas, treatment centers and secluded getaways. Water—as ritualistic bath, as gathering place, medicinal salve, playground, reflecting surface and, specifically, water as the dreamlike soup where images gather and cavort—permeates the stage sets upon which Huey enacts her disjointed narratives. Where once her scenes were performed amid Gothic architecture, now they unfold in the brightly lit, idyllic—though sometimes also menacing—landscapes of the affluent.
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Curated by Jess Frost
December 24, 2013 – February 18, 2014
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 4: 6:00 – 8:00pm
Harper’s Books is pleased to announce Radiant Swim, an exhibition of recent paintings by artist Elizabeth Huey, opening on December 24th, 2013, and on view through February 18th, 2014. A reception for the artist will be held on January 4th, from 6 to 8pm.
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For centuries, water has been used as a medicinal salve and as a symbol for emotions and the intangible. Elizabeth Huey’s new vibrant landscapes envision figures in various states of repose, reflection, and communion surrounded by watery elements. They splash in shimmering pools and gather under bright umbrellas amidst backdrops of scenic resorts and mountainside motels. Yet, there is more at play in these paintings than idyllic recreation. Huey’s enigmatic arrangement of characters, their interactions and intimate gestures, prompt curiosity and beg analysis.
An accomplished photographer and avid collector of found photos, the artist draws from her extensive source archive to highlight anomalies, both sublime and strange. Huey arranges isolated moments into a composite landscape creating an atmosphere that is psychologically charged. At various junctures the artist opts to harmonize or further fragment the disparate elements. The painting Red Sky Submersion reveals a vivid cast of characters, endearing and unsettling, dreamlike and real. In this painting, as in others, the pool offers a realm of therapeutic cleansing, a stabilizing center to the maelstrom of play.
Utilizing acrylic and oil, each with its own integrity, Huey emphasizes the materiality in each painting. Watery blue skies and pools have a translucent plasticity that is complemented by densely saturated details rendered in oil. In the sun-soaked Bath Ablaze, the surfaces range from smooth, glossy windows and water to textured rocks and sandstone. The materials often overlap, blurring boundaries between objects, while the impact of Huey’s emphatic mark making pulls each composition into a whole.
A selection of the artist’s photographs, both made and found are also on view, as well as collages that further demonstrate her process.
Born in Virginia Beach, Huey now lives in Brooklyn, New York. Before obtaining her MFA from Yale University, she earned a BA in Psychology from George Washington University and studied painting at both the Marchutz School in Aix-en-Provence, France, and the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture. She has received several awards including an Artist Research Fellowship from the Smithsonian Institution, a travel fellowship to Italy through Johns Hopkins University, and a Terra Foundation of American Art Fellowship and Residency in Giverny, France. Huey has exhibited both nationally and internationally and her paintings are held in collections such as the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia.
Top Image: Sauna Domes (2013)
Bottom Image: Red Sky Submersion (2013)
SOLO EXHIBITION : WASHINGTON, D.C.
July 23 - November 9, 2013
Heiner Contemporary is delighted to present an arrangement of new, small paintings by Brooklyn-based artist Elizabeth Huey in the gallery's viewing room. Hydrotherapy demonstrates Huey's continued investigations into the human psyche and its ever-shifting relationship to community, architecture and nature. The history of psychology and human attempts at manufacturing happiness have long informed Huey's practice. This new work exchanges sanitariums and institutions for resort spas, treatment centers and secluded getaways.
Huey examines communal experiences around bodies of water and the long-held belief in the restorative power of the element. A cursory glance at the artist's water paintings reveals familiar subject matter - bikini-clad women relaxing poolside and swimmers in celebration. However, a quality of unease lurks just beneath the surface in many of the works. The skies and shimmering water, both alluring and daunting, play a prominent role in sustaining a psychologically charged atmosphere. In this setting, the artist is perhaps most fascinated by human gesture and dynamics, how connections are expressed in subtle ways - a sidelong glance or touch. Social interactions are heightened by scanty attire, emphasizing the subjects' vulnerability, but also their freedom. The distinctive architecture and gestural mark-making are key players in the drama that unfolds in the paintings. Imagery has been culled from the artist's found photo collection, archival research, and her own photographs, including those from recent residencies in Cape Cod and Miami. Whether subjects are diving or watching wistfully from midcentury hotel rooms, this body of work explores paradoxes of adventure and reserve, connection and isolation, and tension and relaxation.
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