For this presentation, Hahn continues to investigate the traditional concerns of figurative painting while creating environments of psychological landscapes of the female mind and body. Her compositions and the materiality of paint, with its rich and translucent multiple layers, enhance the depth of the females’ interior lives presented in these finely crafted narratives.
The women displayed in this new series are in transit, active or passive, walking or waiting, reading or looking at their phone, on the verge of new destinations or chapters. The characters are always portrayed in profile, conjuring up some hieroglyphic stance and causing the narrative to lapse in time. It is unclear where they are coming from, where they are going, what they are waiting for, what caused them to be where they are. These women are almost without history, their future uncertain and unconcerned. The portraiture of often hidden faces, and if visible, simplified into obfuscating masks, elucidates these women’s anonymity. Their bodies, sinuous and fluid, assimilate to the flatness of their backgrounds and the conventions of their environments. Through distinctive and delimitative lines shaping them, they are entirely aware of the part they have had to play in society yet unconcerned with
judgements and expectations.
Introspective and with an unadorned social awareness, Heidi Hahn portrays the complexities of femininity. The use and continuation of the traditional medium of painting and the interplay of formally traditional and contemporary elements contextualize topical concerns and engage these in an art historical context. They paint a new portrait of women who don’t have to pose for the picture.