Folded Venus / Pomaded Sweater
I find myself angry these days. I don’t want to tell you exactly what I am angry about. It’s embedded in the paint—unfocused and sprawling. Making this particular body of work gave me a barrier so I could walk around that anger, allowing myself a distance in order to utilize it. I look at the barricade and see what is on the inside—perhaps something familiar, and what still remains outside—total rebellion. This must be the crux of how I paint. This schism is where my interests lay—in the things that exist side-by-side but are activated separately.
I’d like to think paint has the capacity of giving texture to our feelings, opinions, and all the other things we aren’t meant to hold—with the residue of that material lending matter to the intangible. It has the responsibility of depiction and yet continues to evade a fixed nature. It is in permanent negotiations, which seems like absolute freedom.
What are my expectations towards the work? Can I love this? Can I abide this particular stance on this subject matter? Do I believe in what the material conveys in relation to its content? How do you describe a body without it being academic or caricature? What is a woman anyway? How do I depict the feminine in art without the casual eroticism and/or sneer of false empowerment of a narrow sexualization? Always more questions.
I paint women in order to give an answer that refutes the usual conclusions. I wanted to give you a woman of our time. No questions asked.
About Heidi Hahn
Heidi Hahn is a New York-based painter known for her vibrant palette, melting figures, and atmospheric moods. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from Cooper Union in 2006, and her Master’s degree 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…