A painting of various figures.

Heidi Hahn

Artist in Residence, 2015

Artist Statement

The content of my paintings have a way of coming in and out of definition, leaving room for the viewers daydreaming. I dismantle any hierarchy between the terms I use, terms that are mostly surface, placeholders for secret codes, personal folklore or established painting tropes. The materiality of the paint is the only reality, and the vehicle to deliver emotional content. The ultimate story lies sometimes at the periphery of the picture, almost ready to fall off the canvas, out of grasp. A seemingly innocuous bowl of fruit in the manner of Manet not only becomes about that tradition but a disturbance. The bowl of fruit is a distraction from the darker reality of the picture. A painting safe word if you will. With this gesture an anxiety begins to form. The convention of classical depiction rubs up against more abstracted voids of the picture plane and the narration begins to unravel as soon as the schism is revealed. Painting becomes the ultimate form of manipulation, and the paint itself becomes complacent in the lie of representation. It’s in this way that pure artifice is allowed to become a sincere genuine moment.

While At Headlands

I grew up in California and can still recall the specific tint of light during autumn afternoons. Having spent time in San Francisco early in my career I always felt the need to return and fully inhabit and utilize its brand of illumination. During my stay at Headlands I want to re-structure the idea of lightness and darkness in my paintings. This could happen with simply painting from observation. I truly believe Headlands can become a facilitator for this undertaking and give me the depth I have been lacking for only assuming in an New York studio setting. I am at a point in my process where I need to bring the work out of its intuitive insular state and engage with tangible properties such as atmosphere and landscape.