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#15070

Mary Heilmann: Save the Last Dance for Me

Artist
Mary Heilmann
Writer
Terry R. Myers
Date
2007
Publisher
Afterall Books
Format
Monographs
ISBN
9781846380310
Size
15 × 21 × 1 cm
Length
112 pp
Genre
Criticism, Painting
Description

Mary Heilmann is one of the most important abstract painters of her generation. Her distinctively fluid, humorous, and bright canvases combine the modes of Abstract Expressionism with a vibrant Pop sensibility. Heilmannn’s 1979 painting in hot pink and black, evocatively titled Save the Last Dance for Me, marked a shift in the artist’s perspective. Heilmann describes it: “Now the work came from a different place. Instead of working out of modernist non-image formalism, I began to see that the choices in the work depended more on content for their meaning.” This beautifully illustrated study of Save the Last Dance for Me explores the development of Heilmann’s work, and the way it continues to engage us—psychologically, sensually, and socially.

The three bright pink rectangles in Heilmann’s painting seem to dance off the edge of the canvas, through a black field that seems dark as a nightclub after midnight—or perhaps the three are actually one pink rectangle, seen in a blissfully formal time lapse, moving across the dance floor/canvas. These definitively modernist geometric forms coexist with a sense of movement in real time. For many, abstraction may have been dancing its last dance in 1979, but Heilmann’s bright pink rectangles boogie on.

  1. Mary Heilmann: Save the Last Dance for Me
 

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