Daniel Heidkamp: Coasting

July 22, 2017 - August 15, 2017
Saturday, July 22: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Harper’s Books is pleased to announce Coasting, an exhibition of new work by New York-based painter Daniel Heidkamp. Comprised of twelve medium-format works on canvas, the show will be on view from July 22nd through August 15th, 2017. Concurrently, Harper’s Books will present an exhibition of historic and more recent work by New York-based artist Martha Diamond. Both artists will be in attendance for their openings.

On view on the mezzanine is a series of new paintings that Daniel Heidkamp produced over the last year. Rendered in rich purples, bright pinks, and brilliant blues, the works depict scenes of imagined architecture, intimate conversation, and coastal leisure. Cobbled from lavish brushwork, saturated color, and crooked perspectives, the breezy aspects of Heidkamp’s painterly strategy conspire to render moments that seem pulled from an endless summer. His pictures trade in the grace of idealized settings, and their consistently square format might evince the desirability of vacation images posted to Instagram.

Heidkamp has traveled extensively on the northeastern seaboard, and the paintings in this presentation pay particular attention to time he spent in Montauk, New York, and Cape Ann, Massachusetts. Though he often paints directly from observation, most of these works were created from pictures and memory while Heidkamp was tucked away in his Brooklyn studio. But despite the enclosure of the studio, Heidkamp’s practice finds precedent in the tradition of the plein air painter, specifically those who spent time painting in the Hamptons during the 1950s and 1960s. Artists like Fairfield Porter and Alex Katz forged painterly practices through delicate representations of vacation towns and summertime leisure, and the spirit of their observational imagery is present in Heidkamp’s work. Where the restrained brushwork of his predecessors pushed their imagery toward the verge of legibility, Heidkamp’s saturated palette and surreal situations push his work toward the verge of believability.

Heidkamp’s imagery is decidedly representational, pulling on moments of first-hand experience, but the works comprising Coasting mark a new approach to the derivation of his compositions. In these paintings, magnolia blossoms appear a bit too large, sunsets a bit too bright, and a family of bears a bit too close, in a manner suggesting a particular brand of exaggerated, or exploited realism. His imagery, in a sense, is almost too good to be true, but not because Heidkamp has willfully misled his viewers. Rather, one gets the sense, from these paintings, that Heidkamp let his hand follow his imagination, rendering a lone figure who has lost his shadow, a brushy odalisque at rest on the shore, or a set of abstract marks that telegraph a bright pink sunset.

Daniel Heidkamp (b. 1980, Wakefield, Massachusetts) lives and works in New York. He received his BFA from School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and his MFA from Tufts University, Medford. His work has been the subject of numerous solo presentations in the United States, including exhibitions at The Journal Gallery, New York; Half Gallery, New York; PACE Prints, New York; White Columns, New York; and LaMontagne Gallery, Boston. Heidkamp’s work is frequently featured in group exhibitions both stateside and abroad, including recent shows at Derek Eller Gallery, New York; LOYAL Gallery, Stockholm; Marlborough, Madrid; Jack Hanley Gallery, New York; and Robert Miller Gallery, New York. Heidkamp’s work is currently featured in Talking Pictures, an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, which presents sets of visual correspondence between twelve pairs of artists.