Davidson Gallery presents Figures, Faces, Places, a show of new work by New Zealand-born, Brooklyn-based artist Angela Heisch. The work consists of all new paintings by Heisch, each of which exhibits her signature abstract vocabulary, and explores new and different presentations of her visual language. Heisch’s paintings focus on a perceived balance of form - not quite symmetrical shapes and odd visages appearing out of the ether. In Figures, Faces, Places, Heisch explores three distinct methods or thematic approaches to painting, all of which stem from the traditions of the medium: figuration, portraiture, and landscape painting. However, as with all of Heisch’s work, the references are both obvious and oblique, playing with the viewer’s eye and mind and presenting almost-there images that disappear and reassemble as the gaze wanders across the painting.
The so-called “figure” works center around a central support or spine from which circles radiate, connecting along tangential lines. Meanwhile, planes of contrasting color glow in an ebbing wash, intimating a grid behind. In a manner that is particular to Heisch’s ability, the works create a many layered richness but are possessing of a lightness that is rare for such depth-of-field.
The artist approaches the “face” works by trying to categorize what constitutes faces both physically and in our own minds, and how our brains are predisposed to see faces in everyday things. The cloud-like forms denote a playfulness and sky-gazing dreaminess.
Finally, three paintings address the idea of “place”. By virtue of their horizontal orientation, they are immediately reminiscent of landscape paintings. Heisch includes intersecting planes that appear serrated or crenelated in reference to terrain, while radial forms seem to reference floral shapes, yet exude light and energy that emanate throughout.