Artist: Paul Heyer
Exhibition title: Every Day is Halloween
Venue: Chapter NY, New York, US
Date: September 10 – October , 2016
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Chapter NY
Chapter NY is pleased to present Every Day is Halloween, an exhibition of new work by Paul Heyer. This is the artist’s second solo show at Chapter NY and the inaugural exhibition at the gallery’s new location at 249 East Houston Street. The exhibition’s title champions fluidity without fear of judgment and suggests reality is merely an accepted construction—significance made as easily as it is believed.
Pulling symbols from the everyday, art history and his own visual lexicon, Heyer’s work questions the nature of the known. The artist adopts recognizable markers not as carriers of precise meaning, but rather as opportunities to diffuse definition. An exuberant skeleton among fluttering chromosomes, lily pads in thinned day-glow, skyscapes wavering and luminous—these are humble ‘floating signifiers’ which, once emptied, hold infinite potential for all readings without judgment or constraint.
Heyer’s playful yet precise use of materials offers this openness physically as much as symbolically. Evoking the energy of ‘80s painting, these works draw upon the allure of emotional aestheticism, while remaining open to the viewers’ creative communion. Wistful cloudscapes etch themselves out in childlike innocence, as bright washes of color animate simple polyester—shifting surfaces that flirt with the otherworldly through accessible means. Vaporous, these works seem to float, shroud and hover at the edge of the material world. Whether window, portal or reflection, these permeable membranes manifest not as boundaries but rather invitations into the unknown.
Through these receptive gestures Heyer offers the viewer the ease of acceptance, the willingness to be wraithlike— to step outside the self. By invoking the viewer’s imagination, the artist teases out the politics of convention through a leap of faith. Part the pleasure of painting, part sleight of hand—Heyer’s works offer transcendence without the pretension of being ‘saved’. Reality so ephemeral, one hears gentle bells.
Paul Heyer (b.1982) was born in Chicago, IL and currently lives and works in Chicago, IL. In 2009 he received a MFA in painting from Columbia University. Recent exhibitions include solo shows in Night Gallery, Los Angeles (2013 and 2016), and Chapter NY (2014). He has also been included in exhibitions at Andrea Rosen Gallery (2016), Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago (2016), Rodeo Gallery London (2015), Young Art, Los Angeles (2013), 356 Mission Angeles (2015) and Rachel Uffner Gallery, NY (2012). Press includes NY Times, Artforum and Flash Art.
Paul Heyer, Drunk Skeleton, 2016
Acrylic, oil and china marker on polyester, 67 x 48 inches (170.18 x 121.92 cm)
Paul Heyer, Every Day is Halloween, 2016
China marker, silver lamé and acrylic on canvas, 27 x 22.125 inches (68.58 x 56.20 cm)
Paul Heyer, Is this it? What I’ve been waiting for?, 2016
Acrylic and oil on polyester, 27 x 22.125 inches (68.58 x 56.20 cm)
Paul Heyer, Model of the Universe (It’s a Broom), 2016
Acrylic, oil and china marker on polyester, 70 x 55 inches (177.80 x 139.70 cm)
Paul Heyer, Model of the Universe (It’s a Lily Pad), 2016
Acrylic, oil and china marker on polyester, 94 x 74 inches (238.76 x 187.96 cm)
Paul Heyer, Sky, 2016
Acrylic and oil on canvas, 67 x 48 inches (170.18 x 121.92 cm)
Paul Heyer, Through the Stained Glass, 2016
Acrylic and oil on canvas, 40 x 30.5 inches (101.60 x 77.47 cm)