She'll Get Hers

Karen Heagle will exhibit a series of new paintings in the artist’s second show at I-20, entitled She’ll Get Hers.

Heagle employs varied subjects in these works including portraits of women, landscapes, and images of animals and birds, most prominently vultures, which have come to symbolize elements of consumer culture and aspects of the current economic mood. Snakes also inhabit Heagle’s narratives as traditional symbols of evil or temptation.  Heagle’s subjects also reflect the individual’s inner turmoil and the negotiation of personhood within a broad social context.

In many of these works, Heagle explores the artist’s role within the complex framework of modern morality and the realities of modern life.  In The End of Abundance (2008), two vultures pick through a huge pile of rubbish and discarded goods. Within the pile-up there is a bucket of brushes referencing the artist’s studio. Other props of the studio appear in the paintings including brushes and blobs of paint on a palette.

Through this body of work Heagle also examines the underlying eroticism found in images of death. As Georges Bataille has argued, sexuality and death are indivisibly intertwined and we have seen artists throughout European history employ this idea in their work.  Painters such as Goya and Soutine have utilized the depictions of dead animals as symbols of life and death, highlighting the erotic undertones of the imagery.  In She’ll Get Hers Heagle continues to explore the twists of erotic imagery and both its sublimation and numerous permutations in our time.

Karen Heagle was born in Tomah, Wisconsin in 1967. She was educated at the University of Wisconsin and received her MFA at the Pratt Institute.  Recent group shows include The Guys We Would Fuck, curated by Nayland Blake, Monya Rowe Gallery, New York; No New Tale to Tell, 31 Grand, Brooklyn; Men, curated by Ellen Altfest, I-20 Gallery; You Have to Be Almost Gifted to Do What I Do, curated by Oliver Newton and Steven Stewart, Alexander and Bonin, New York; and Panic Room, the Deste Foundation of the Arts, Athens.  Her works are in many collections, including the Judith Rothschild Contemporary Drawing Collection at the Museum of Modern Art.  She lives and works in Brooklyn.