Mary Heilmann

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Mary Heilmann
Born1940 (age 77–78)
Known forPainting

Mary Ann Heilmann (born January 3, 1940) is an American contemporary artist whose works include paintings, works on paper, ceramics, and furniture.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Heilmann was born in San Francisco, California, in 1940. She received her bachelor's degree in literature from the University of California, Santa Barabara in 1962 and her master's degree in ceramics and sculpture at the University of California, Berkeley in 1962. [2]


Rombecabeza Uno, 2000, Acrylic on Panel (8 parts), 28" x 26"

Heilmann moved to New York City after graduating from Berkeley in 1968. Early in her career, Heilmann became interested in pop culture and minimalist sculpture, creating works which were inspired by these areas. Her move into painting saw her further experiment with new techniques and mediums, bright colors, drips, flatness, and unusual geometries. Furthermore, Heilmann's life on the West Coast has also greatly influenced her work, which also focuses on notions of biography and memory. One of Heilmann's earliest successes as a young painter was her 1972 inclusion in the Annual Exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where she exhibited a red monochrome piece entitled The Closet, also known as Ties in My Closet. [3]She is respected among her fellow painters,[4] and has been called "one of the most important abstract painters of her generation".[5] Her work has been the subject of many exhibitions since 1970.[citation needed] Heilmann received the Anonymous Was a Woman Foundation Award in 2006, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation,[1] and the Biennial Award for Contemporary Art.[6]


In 1970 she performed in her first New York solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art Resource Center.[7] In addition to solo exhibitions at Secession in Vienna (2003), the Camden Arts Centre, London (2001) and at the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen [de] (2000), she has participated in exhibitions such as The Broken Mirror ' at the Kunsthalle Wien (1993/94) and 'nuevas abstracciones' at the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid (1996). In 2007 she was part of an exhibition at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach (CA), which travelled to the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston in Houston Texas, the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus Ohio and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York.


  1. ^ a b "Mary Heilmann". Art21. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  2. ^ Yee, Lydia
  3. ^ Yee, Lydia ' ' Mary Heilmann: Looking at Pictures' '. London: Whitechapel Gallery, 2006
  4. ^ Samet, Jennifer. "Wild, Punk and Slightly Off-Kilter: An Interview with Mary Heilmann." Hyperallergic RSS. Hyperallergic, 12 Jan. 2013. Web. [1]
  5. ^ Myers, T.R. ' ' Mary Heilmann: Save the Last Dance for Me' '. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2007, ISBN 978-1-84638-031-0.
  6. ^ "Mary Heilmann & BACA Projects". press release. e-flux. 29 September 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  7. ^ Siegel, Katy; Bey, Dawoud; Weatherspoon Art Museum; American University (Washington, D.C.); Museum; National Academy of Design (U.S.) (2006-01-01). High times, hard times: New York painting, 1967-1975. New York: Independent Curators International : D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers. ISBN 1933045396.

Further reading[edit]

  • Secession (ed.), 'Mary Heilmann. All Tomorrow’s Parties', Cologne: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, 2003
  • Armstrong, Elizabeth; Burton, Johanna; Hickey, David, 'Mary Heilmann. To Be Someone', New York NY: Prestel Publishing 2007 (exh. cat.)
  • Myers, Terry, 'Mary Heilmann: Save the Last Dance for Me', Afterall Books, 2007
  • Paula van den Bosch, Angelika Nollert (eds.), 'Mary Heilmann. Good Vibrations', Cologne: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, 2012 (exh. cat.)
  • Kienbaum, Jochen, 'Mary Heilmann. Seeing Things. Vision, Waves and Roads', Cologne/DE: Snoeck, 2012
  • Schreier, Christoph, Gronert, Stefan (eds.), 'Mary Blinky Yay!', Cologne: Snoek Verlagsgesellschaft, 2013 (