Bar Escape, 2005
acrylic on gessoed panel, 32 x 36.5"
Urban Landscape Paintings
Frank Bernarducci and Louis K. Meisel are pleased to announce the solo exhibition of Photorealist painter, Gus Heinze. This exhibition, which articulates Heinze's exploration of the painting process using the backdrop of New York City, characterizes his unique and complex vision. In all of these paintings, the artist's ambitious treatment of form, line, and composition dominate the overall aesthetic.
While his technical process is in accordance with the conventions of true Photorealism, Heinze considers his work a form of "Abstract Realism." In his painting "Lever House," for example, Heinze focuses the convergence of two outer facades of a building at the bottom center of the painting. Above this, a third wall runs perpendicular. The architectural components of surrounding buildings reflect off the windows, causing a vast array of lines, albeit simple and clean, to merge and unite. The asymmetrical composition at which the painting is rendered as well as the condensed perspective lends to the overall abstraction of the piece. "Piano Due" follows a similar motif with an even more complex profile of outlines and reflections, as does the painting 875. Here, highly reflective office building windows encompass the entire surface of the painting. Again, these paintings accentuate visual conditions. They recall abstractions or fragments of familiar urban objects and control the way the viewer sees the painting, thus creating a delicate balance between observation and reality.
Heinze's selected viewpoint is a major component that sets his work apart from that of other Photorealists. His choice of composition, which leads to an abstracted realist image of a recognizable object, both confirms the artist's good photography aesthetics and demonstrates his acute photographic eye. As opposed to resembling tourist snapshots, these paintings are more readily linked to photographic studies of composition and framing. In "57th and Madison," a typical urban street scene is depicted, yet the painting's profile suggests a unique point of view. The focal point lies not in the foreground among the congestion of automobiles, but in the background upon a deceivingly inconspicuous red sculpture. It's contrasting color and sharp angles draw the eye in and upward, magnifying the streamlined architecture of the surrounding buildings.
Likewise, "Diner on 57th Street" maintains this technique by placing the focal point at the center of the painting, above the cars. A large neon sign reading "Brooklyn Diner" parallels the foreground and accentuates, again, the arrangement of lines and contours dominating the painting. Yet another example of this strategy is evident in the painting "Window Shopping." Here, Heinze has cropped the image to leave the viewer with only the essential information required to decipher its subject matter. A fraction of a familiar fashion label logo peeks out from behind the busts of two store front mannequins while behind the text a figure poses in a purple blazer, unbuttoned to expose her bare torso. From the viewer's perspective, it is not exactly clear what is illustrated. Presumably, we are looking at a store window display promoting a specific fashion label. However, the exact contents of that window display are subject to interpretation.
These breathtaking, intimate, and astonishingly distinct abstractions of the traditional realist viewpoint come together in this exhibition to demonstrate the artist's remarkable artistic vision.
Gus Heinze was born in Bremen, Germany and currently resides in California. He studied at the Art Students League of New York and the School for Visual Arts in New York.
Exhibition: 7 - 30 September, 2006
Gallery hours: Tues-Sat 10 am - 5:30 pm
Bernarducci Meisel Gallery
37 West 57th Strett
USA-New York, NY 10019
Telephone +1 212 593 3757
Fax +1 212 593 3933