Mary Heilman.docx

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Visual Arts Studio
Visual Arts Studio 2210
Cathy Thorpe

Mary Heilman, Truckstop Trip (2007) and Merlin James, Untitled (1994-1999) By Kaity Strong In the artworks of both Mary Heilman and Merlin James, an interesting synthesis of visual elements are commonly applied causing Heilman's painting, Truckstop Trip and Merlin James' painting Untitled to share much in common when examining subject matter and the styles and techniques of representation. Both works present ideas of representation in a ways which echo modernist painting movements of the twentieth century, particularly through in their use of expressive brushwork and their abstracted appearance. For example, abstract expressionism, an artistic movement emerging in the twentieth century, shares characteristics with these works through the translation of the emotion of the painter into a visual language. These techniques can be found in Truckstop Trip and Untitled amongst the ways in which the painters translate real life experiences into abstract representations. Truckstop Trip, like much of Heilman’s work is a sort of retelling of situations and the lyrical brushwork visible in Heilman’s painting along with her use of warm, friendly colours emulates the positive memories associated with the environment depicted. Untitled, by James reflects emotions as well by depicting a space in a way which speaks to James’personal experience and interpretation of the room. The more stiff and straight appearance of James’ brushwork and his subdued, monotonous hues pr
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