Heather Guertin: Development




Heather Guertin: Development is the exhibition catalog of the eponymous exhibition at Brennan & Griffin, September 7 — October 12, 2014.

The word development can be used in different contexts while maintaining the same meaning. For this exhibition, developing countries, housing developments, and character development are addressed through painting and writing. The word, aside from the specific themes addressed here, can also refer to the expectation of artistic development on display in a solo exhibition.

The exhibition begins with a short film, the generation of a text from Guertin's satirical novel in-progress,"Not Yet Titled, Cambodia." This excerpted text tells the story of a couple's decision to buy land and build a house in Cambodia in an attempt to escape the rising prices and homogenization of New York. Through their changed environment and the development of architectural and interior space, the couple aims to fully realize themselves in the world. Their dream of self-actualization becomes a nightmare when one of the characters encounters a ghostly duplicate of herself.

The invention of characters through storytelling is mirrored by the figures who reside in the abstracted space of Guertin's painting. She employs a minimalist logic to structure her work. The self-referential rendering of space and gestural employment of paint calls attention to the surface, while primary forms, ovals and staffs, respond directly to the dimensions and architecture of the support. The forms painted are figurative and serve to reinforce the physical structure of the spaces they inhabit, while being defined by it as people. Combining these investigations into material and figuration, Guertin's paintings similarly explore self-realization through development of space, or as an artist who engages with painting.

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