Night Gallery is very pleased to announce I Am The Sky, Paul Heyer’s third solo exhibition at the gallery. In these new works Heyer paints clouds and spirals, universal subjects rife throughout art history, in an attempt to capture something that is fundamentally elusive: the present tense.
As subjects, skies and spirals speak to Heyer’s interest in painting as a present-tense activity and the subjects’ dual nature as constant and ever-changing. Heyer is interested in painting as a site of belief and belief-production. There is an audacity to an artist’s declaration, “This is a sky because I say it is a sky, because I believe it, and because I make it to be a sky.” That leap of faith is a fundamental part of image-making. Heyer sees the sky as a painting that the earth makes itself, all day and all night. The spiral can be a vortex or ripples on a pond, or petals floating on mirrored water...
Heyer’s study of these subjects reflects a fresh and tender engagement with one’s surroundings. He is influenced by the utopianism of ‘90s rave culture and its faith in the expansion beyond human limits. Heyer also looks to the paintings of El Greco, which he sees as being ultimately about the moment of transition from human to post- human—to angel, god, or post-body. Humming under the surface of Heyer’s paintings are notions of leaving the body behind, becoming energy or taking a new form, earth as heaven, people as angels and aliens, and the profound joy and vulnerability felt by simply looking to the sky.
Paul Heyer (b. Illinois, 1982) received his MFA and BA from Columbia University in 2009 and 2004, respectively. Heyer has exhibited throughout the US at such venues as Night Gallery, Los Angeles; Chapter NY, New York; Rachel Uffner, New York; and Daniel Reich, New York. His work has been written about in Artforum International and The New York Times. In 2016, he will have a show at Chapter NY, New York. Heyer lives and works in Los Angeles.