Born in New York City in 1916, Dorothy Heller’s career as an artist in many significant ways paralleled the city’s growth as the world’s eventual epicenter of culture and the visual arts. Despite a brief period of inactivity when she battled tuberculosis for three years beginning in 1945, Heller built a life and a legacy guided by an intense interest in discovering new means of expression that often had links to religion, spirituality and the social sciences. Her experimentation and development in painting can clearly be seen in her many series that grew from powerful Abstract Expressionist works to a more divine and distilled vision of the oneness of the universe.
The exhibition begins with paintings from the 1950s and 60s when Heller was exclusively a practitioner of Abstract Expressionism in a way that captured sociocultural beliefs and traditions while still maintaining a connection to her own private thoughts, space and time. Heller was always analytical – always searching for something new and different – knowing that the independence she had to express herself in any way she felt at any given moment in time was her greatest and most precious freedom. Heller often included drawing with charcoal at any point in the process of a painting. ... Then there is Night City (1958), a jazzy, jumpy, jumble of shapes and lines that ignite a skyline that tells endless stories about passion, peril and endless possibilities. Like any great representation of a city, Heller gives a glimpse of a time when the city was bubbling up with fresh ideas and progressive thinking.
-- D. Dominick Lombardi, artist, art writer and independent curator based in New York
The opening reception for Dorothy Heller: Abstract Expressionist and Symbolic Paintings will be held on Thursday, February 8th, 6 – 8 p.m.. For further information, please contact the gallery at (212) 941-1817, Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.