Mary Heilmann / Blinky Palermo: Mary Blinky Yay!

Cat. Kunstmuseum Bonn

Exhibition catalogue, edited by Stefan Gronert, Christoph Schreier
texts (German/English) by Stephan Berg, Stefan Gronert, Georg Imdahl, Christoph Schreier, Bernhart Schwenk, Stepen Westfall
128 p with 75 coloured illustrations
260 x 200 mm, clothbound embossed

ISBN 978-3-86442-055-9

58,00 €

A Tribute to Blinky Palermo!

Mary Heilmann was born in 1940 in San Francisco and began her ­career as a ceramicist. However, her move to New York in 1968 prompted a change in profession. She starting painting and developed a stylistically undefined, abstract visual language. Dominated at times by organic and then occasion­ally geometric abstraction, her work never became bogged down in a purely l’art pour l'art idiom. This hybrid style of painting also reflects Mary Heilmann’s personal experience of life, which finds cryptic expression in the paintings. Thus, green and blue waves allude to the long summer on the Pacific beach, while green-yellow bands of colour also appear as headlights that cast their beams on the long night drives – two typical ciphers for early American hippie and dropout culture that did not shy away from excessive drug use. Mary Heilmann combines the narrative with a purely visual level, thereby avoiding the one-dimensionality of a clearly identifiable statement. She cultivates ambiguity and the potential for artistic discourse, permitting a dialogue with other artists. In the case of the Bonn exhibition and this catalogue, the artist has integrated work by Blinky Palermo (1943–1977), who died at a tragically young age and whose works Heilmann loves. It is possible to discern a similar sensitivity and undog­matic sovereignty in both Blinky Palermo and Mary Heilmann’s work, which is why the exhibition and the book may be regarded as a kind of tribute to Blinky Palermo, who would have turned seventy this year.

Kunstmuseum Bonn, 11/7–29/9/2013