Wednesday, November 29
6 - 8:00 pm
with a performance at 7pm
Heide Hatry: Material Reality features a selection of objects and sculptures, many of them never previously exhibited, on view for one week only.
In Hatry's work, it is material itself that is the reality to which she, sometimes subtly, sometimes humorously, sometimes terrifyingly, draws our attention, provoking unwelcome thought about who we are, what we have done, and what is at stake in our passage through the world. Exploiting our typically unexamined habits of visual expectation and reception, she creates spaces in which reflection become inevitable, in which the normally invisible becomes not only visible but insistent, focusing thought upon both intensely visceral ethical concerns and more arcane if no less crucial philosophical questions, such as how knowledge affects our understanding of beauty or why space cannot be understood outside of time.
For Hatry, material embodies a fundamental truth, something like an external conscience, to which art can re-open our minds. In the introduction to her collaborative conceptual artist's book, Icons in Ash, she speaks of making art subjects instead of art objects, works whose very meaning and substance, in profound if elusive ways, is the material of which they are made: in her earlier bodies of work, the dead, discarded, and perforce accusatory remains of the animal slaughter industry, and more recently, the human ashes from which she has painstakingly created portraits of their erstwhile subjects, portraits that, chemically, genetically, materially, are their subjects.
Material is essential to her art, not the mere medium or occasion for it, and in the dialectic of appearance and reality or semblance and truth that she invokes in the by turns subtle or forceful assertion of its presence, Hatry's ostensibly simple images and objects open up a vast, deep, and densely layered zone of reflection. Her work represents an evolution in the inner dynamic of the art relationship and the recognition that art, like humanity, still has unrealized yet significant potentials, and a duty to explore them.
Material Reality offers an opportunity to experience Hatry's work outside of the complex, self-reflexive, and often paradoxical form in which she typically presents it, as the Ur-objects or material substrates rendered invisible, abstract, or elusive in her iconic bodies of work, as well as never before exhibited free-standing objects, to consider them from the fundamental perspective of their contribution to a uniquely material aesthetic and conceptual practice.
A panel, also entitled Material Reality, organized by ATOA (Artist Talk On Art) will take place at The National Arts Club on Nov. 28 at 6.30pm, with panelists Laila Pedro, JW McCormack, Marc Pachter, John Wronoski, and Heide Hatry.
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