John Heward

John Heward

April 8, 2011 – June 19, 2011

John Heward: Things

John Heward is an interdisciplinary artist whose works are known for their improvisational spirit and sense of restraint. For decades, he has investigated the Minimalist tradition in painting, sculpture, and sound, examining the most elemental acts of mark-making, shaping materials, and percussive repetition. His works seem to question the steps from genesis to public-ness: how objects and events can be made, with what materials, and where and how can they be shared.

Heward uses walls, floors, and ceilings as sites for the display of his paintings, stressing a non-hierarchical and anti-precious approach. For his exhibition at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, the artist includes a series of paintings created between 1987 and 2011, using materials including canvas, rayon, acrylic, ink, oil, and metal clamps. The overall title of this work is untitled (abstractions) and it contains myriad gestures – staining, folding, cutting, and stacking. Heward proposes an installation plan that marries the particularities of our venue with his current mood: works will be strewn on the floor as well as hung in various ways throughout the gallery. Impromptu decisions about what goes where will be determined by staff and visitors during the run of the exhibition, emphasizing the subjectivity of intention and reception in space and time.

Music and collaboration are an essential part of Heward’s practice. He has performed as a drummer with small ensembles in free jazz and improvised music contexts, producing a significant discography. In conjunction with his paintings, we will present the video John Heward: A Portrait. This 2008 experimental documentary was made by Heward’s wife, artist Sylvia Safdie, and it features music by Heward (percussion and kalimba) and Joe McPhee (alto sax, trumpet).

Heward lives and works in Montreal, Canada. His work has been exhibited at Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Galerie de l’UQAM, and Galerie Roger Bellemare, Mon¬treal; MOCCA and Peak Gallery, Toronto; and Centre culturel canadien, Paris. His work is in the collections of Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Musée d’art contemporain de Montreal, Art Gallery of Ontario, and Air Canada.

We are grateful to the Consulate General of Canada (Atlanta) for their support of our Patron Member reception on Fri, Apr 8.

Photos by Mike Jensen

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