- Painting on paper in epoxy, tape, acrylic, oil
- 9" x 8"
"A trompe l’oeil rendering of cupid xeroxed and taped to perforated paper mirrors the sketch immersed in the epoxy. The piece depicts versions of the same image, unfinished drafts accompanying more finalized forms. Expression is provisional—we are always trying something out—and takes shape over time: paper frozen in epoxy, the slowness of meticulous painting. Reality and illusion are made from different directions (the real piece of paper with an undeveloped drawing; the illusory piece of paper with a more complete depiction; the knowledge that it is all a copy of or a wish toward something not pictured)."
- Heather McPherson
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Born in Ann Arbor, MI; based in Providence, RI
Heather McPherson's approach to painting combines abstraction and figuration while applying a range of materials to create low relief wall-based paintings. Responding to devotional painters with a deep consideration for surface effects, natural light and imagery related to the body, McPherson's low relief paintings merge contemporary and traditional materials to assert a physicality in her paintings.
Unique to McPherson's practice is her process of submerging her paintings on paper into translucent epoxy, allowing the painting to suspend in a dream-like state and challenging the effects of time on archival materials. Once dried, the exterior substrate becomes a secondary canvas for further painting by McPherson. This dynamic process challenges the idea of painting as two-dimensional by integrating visible layers that capture elements of sculpture, collage, and painting all at once, similar to an artifact. McPherson’s artistic process can be understood as a transcription of the ethereal by referencing fleshy bodies and historical iconography and by the unification of text, scrawls, and devotional imagery nestled within each layer.
Her densely packed low relief paintings harness physical qualities that expand the definition of painting while the spatial estrangement of layers remind viewers of duality, namely the material world and the transcendent, or the distance between the body and mind.