If the Abstract Expressionists of the 1950s and 1960s painted to achieve a sublime experience that transcended the ordinary, Mary Heilmann’s work in the subsequent decade played off of this tradition by humorously grounding abstraction in everyday life. Blinds comes from a series of abstract works inspired by the artist’s immediate surroundings, such as air vents, French doors, and window blinds. The work also questions the Renaissance concept of paintings as windows into other worlds by remaining resolutely and irreverently in ours. Heilmann has said that her decision to take up painting in 1968, when most major white male critics labeled the medium “dead,” was a calculated and “antagonistic move.”
Oil on canvas
overall: 72 1/4 × 48 3/4 × 1/2 in. (183.5 × 123.8 × 1.3 cm) (show scale)
Inscribed on reverse: "Mary Heilmann/ 1975/ "Blinds"/ TOP
[enclosed with up-arrow in a vertically oriented rectangle]" The
entire inscription is enclosed within a drawn square, graphite (est.).
Label attached to horizontal crossbar, right: "...West Broadway, New
York, N.Y.10012/ Artist: Mary Heilmann/ Title Blinds Date 1975/
HSG # MH 18 Collection 1"
Label attached to horizontal crossbar, left: "Holly..." (gallery name
to the left of the following information) "392 West Broadway/ Artist:
Mary.../ Title: / Me___oil c.../ Size 7..."..."
Gift of The Solomon Foundation
This item is not on view
Mary Heilmann (American, born 1940). Blinds, 1975. Oil on canvas, overall: 72 1/4 × 48 3/4 × 1/2 in. (183.5 × 123.8 × 1.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of The Solomon Foundation, 2009.7.3. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2009.7.3_PS9.jpg)
overall, 2009.7.3_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2019
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© Mary Heilmann
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