Brooklyn artist devastates her artwork

February 09, 2012

Brooklyn artist Valerie Hegarty will give a free public lecture at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, in the Palmer Lipcon Auditorium, Palmer Museum of Art, on the Penn State University Park campus. Her work often recreates, destroys, and transforms the gallery, objects of art, and the constructs of image-making using fragile materials such as paint, paper and glue. Hegarty's lecture is sponsored by the Penn State School of Visual Arts John M. Anderson Visiting Artists and Scholars Lecture Series.

The first impression walking into an exhibition by Hegarty is that there has been a horrible disaster. Art, antiques and furniture are some of the works that have been burned, ripped, cracked, shot at or otherwise destroyed. This deliberate destruction is intended to evoke man’s struggle to civilize nature and the potential consequences. One such example is "Niagara Falls," a painting rotted and battered nearly beyond recognition, with the Falls literally pouring from the wall as a twisted wreck. Another image is "Cracked Canyon," a painting of the Grand Canyon hanging on a gallery wall, broken with a seismic fissure running from the floor to the ceiling.

Originally from Vermont, Hegarty received her bachelor of arts from Middlebury College, bachelor of fine arts from San Francisco’s Academy of Art College, and master's of fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her solo exhibitions include Nicelle Beauchene, NY; Locust Projects, Miami; Museum 52, London; MCA, Chicago; and Guild & Greyshkul, NY, among others. Selected group exhibitions in New York include the Brooklyn Museum, Artists Space, The Drawing Center, D’Amelio Terras Gallery, Derek Eller, White Columns and PS1. Hegarty currently has a work on semi-permanent view in the American Wing of the Brooklyn Museum of Art (2008-present). Upcoming New York solo shows include Marlborough Chelsea Gallery (2012) and Nicelle Beauchene Gallery (2012), and two special project installations in the period rooms of the Brooklyn Museum with assistance from BravinLee projects, NY (2013).

Hegarty has numerous grants, including Pollock Krasner, NYFA Fellowship Award in Sculpture, the Rema Hort Mann Foundation, and the Tiffany Foundation. Residencies include Marie Walsh Sharpe, PS 122, Yaddo and Smack Mellon. She is represented by Nicelle Beauchene Gallery in NY.

  • Artist Valerie Hegarty is shown participating in her 'Break-Through Miami' exhibit, which uses paper-mache, photography and anamorphic painting techniques to create the impression that the gallery walls have been stripped back to reveal an old Miami building interior.

    IMAGE: Penn State

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Last Updated February 13, 2012