Julie Heffernan: Interview

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Jennifer Samet interviews painter Julie Heffernan about her work and career.

Heffernan comments: "I am looking for forms that can function both symbolically and with their own personality. I remember Peter Schjeldahl writing about the Victorian Fairy Painting exhibition at the Frick in 1999. He said the show signified to him the end of modernism, because modernism was interested in a lot of things, but it wasn’t terribly interested in you and me. With those Victorian Fairy paintings, the care and concern of the artist for every little detail, all the complexities of every fairy wing and such, connects us to that creature. These particularities — like the curl of your hair — is a particularity about you, right now. It keeps you from being generic, and yet, it is also just an exquisite spiraling form, a pure Platonic form… When I walk into a gallery, I am interested in whether I’m feeling the presence of a human mind in the work."

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