GRIMM is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition by Jay Heikes (1975) with the gallery in Amsterdam.
“Necrophiliac is a reckoning with the inanimate obsessions we have as artists. Like smoking, sculpting becomes a dirty habit. At the end of the day you should feel as though you’ve been caught with your pants down, in a perpetual state of perversion.”
In Necrophiliac Jay Heikes presents new work inspired by nature and history, following the cycles of life. Through works in video, sculpture and print, the show illustrates the artist’s search for an individual language and freer artistic expression.
The exhibition includes sculptures made out of dirt, earthly elements as wood and shells, as well as utensils. Artist’s Artist (2015), for example, is made of empty bottles that seem to grow like a malignant fungus. An old, soiled look- ing pair of white corduroy pants and shoes with a top layer of steel slag illustrate that Heikes continues to subvert his metaphors for deterioration and historical decay. The sphere of his work is strongly related to the Arte Povera movement.
A series of monoprints titled Niet voor kinderen (2015) will also be shown. In creating this series of work, Heikes was inspired by how artists in the past have used material from Egyptian mummies that were ground up as pigment for a color known as ‘Mummy Brown’. Heikes draws a parallel to his various studio materials as a stand-in for the fractured body used in the Surrealist parlor game ‘exquisite corpse’. This lead to his use of the material asphaltum, an oily tar substance that was also used in mummification, but is nowadays mainly used in printmaking.
In Daily Rituals (Newday) (2015), a video that is part of a series in which Heikes documents his working process, footage from the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles is used: An excavation site where studies on asphaltum are carried out, Heikes’ discovery of this oily substance to use as an ink for printing and the research into mummification laid the foundations for Necrophiliac.
About the artist
Jay Heikes (1975) was born in Princeton (NJ) and currently lives and works in Minneapolis. He received his BFA from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and completed his MFA at Yale University in 2005.
His work has been shown at several venues including Aspen Art Museum (2012), The Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2007) The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2003). Heikes’ work was included in the Whitney Biennial: Day for Night in 2006. And he had his first solo exhibition Jay Heikes: Like a Broken Record at Marianne Boesky Gallery in 2007. Recent solo exhibitions include Music for Minor Planets at Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, USA (2015), Ra at Federica Schiavo, Rome, Italy (2014), Walkabout at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, USA (2013) and Jay Heikes at Gallería Marta Cervera, Madrid, Spain (2010).
Furthermore his work was included in group shows Trieste at GRIMM, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2014), Traces of life at Wentrup gallery, Berlin, Germany (2013), Painter Painter at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA (2013) and a group show at Xavier Hufkens, Brussels, Belgium (2013).
His latest project, an artistic collaborative, titled Consequences is currently on view at Fondazione Guiliani in Rome (until December 12, 2015).