heiner contemporary

November 15: Weekend Roundup

Before we officially start winding down the year and get into the holiday season, we have one exciting ArtSee weekend coming up! Here are a few things to keep you busy this weekend while the weather stays chilly...


Transformer 10th Annual Auction and Benefit Party

As we already mentioned, and chose our favorites for, Transformer will kick off our weekend with their annual auction party that fundraises for the small but mighty P Street gallery. With 200 artists bringing their best, brightest and most original pieces, it is an amazing opportunity to meet new collectors, artists and other arts enthusiasts. And a great excuse to look fancy and party on a Friday night! For more information and tickets click here


MOVING ART: A Talk with George Hemphill It's hard to ignore the impact that George Hemphill and the artists he represents have had on the Washington DC art community. But how did he get to this point? On Saturday, November 16 at 10 AM, George Hemphill will share his perspective and journey of what it takes to be an art dealer. Don't miss it! Click here for more information.  

PJ Burns at The Dunes A good friend to ArtSee and a very talented emerging artist, Patrick "PJ" Burns will open his solo show at The Dunes for one night one. On Saturday from 5-8 pm, don't miss the chance to see home of his latest work (featured image above). He is a mixed media artist that creates work in a true pop art fashion with subjects that can be anything from abstract, to literal to almost comical. For more information visit his website here

CURIO at Heiner Contemporary To round out a successful 2013, Heiner will open their last show of the year CURIO, a group show featuring Christine Gray, Sue Johnson, Caitlin Teal Price, Olivia Rodriguez, Esther Ruiz and Julie Wolfe. Exploring and twisting the 16th and 17th century cabinets of curiosity, the exhibition explores why certain things are collected. Each artist will explore a different collection from a different perspective. To see what they put in the "cabinet", don't miss the opening Saturday from 6-8 pm, click here for more information.  

Bringing the Art in DC to You, 


Transformer Auction: ArtSee Picks

As we started with (e)merge, the ArtSee team has decided to pick our favorites from the lineup for the 10th Annual Transformer Auction & Benefit Party.  For the last decade, Transformer has been hosting their annual fundraiser at the Corcoran to include an array of the best of the best in DC's art scene. The organization puts on the event every year to provide the necessary funding for a year of programming and exhibitions. In its' 10th year, the auction will include 200 original pieces by local artists and those from Colombia, in honor of the Auction Diplomatic Chair, Carlos Urrutia, The Ambassador of Columbia. The event is a one-of-a-kind chance to interact with local artists, collectors and other arts enthusiasts, like us! 

Read on for our favorite picks... 

Elizabeth Grazioli, ArSee Founder and Creative Operations Director

Rachel Farbiarz, Study (with rockers)
Starting Bid: ???

As not only an ArtSee favorite, but one of my personal favorite artists, it was easy to select Farbiarz's work as my pick for this years' auction. Her piece, Study (with rockers) is a drawing of perhaps the beginning thoughts of one of her sculptural pieces that was recently featured in Heiner Contemporary's Take Me With You. Farbiarz has focused much of her recent work on displacement and migration of people and cultures, but this piece perhaps simplifies those thoughts to a collection of chairs. Although being auctioned off on Friday, the piece was part of her show at Heiner and when I saw it, I was immediately drawn to it. The way in which Farbiarz can use drawing to transformer her work is so unique. I am sure, even without a starting bid, that it will be a big winner of the night! 

Shira Karsen, ArtSee Creative Assistant

Joshua Johnson, Bractea
Starting Bid: $350

One of my favorite pieces in this year's auction is Joshua Johnson's Bractea, a hand-sewn, hand-painted and hand-worn mash-up of multiple centuries worth of armor details. Johnson's inspiration is "historical flatness," the idea of taking the romanticized ideals, fashions, stories and legends from different centuries, and incorrectly flattening them into a more specific time period. This piece, having seen it in person during its many stages, was worked and reworked to ensure that everything, down to the fake gold leaf, was done with purpose. Bractea is also a living work. As it ages, specks of the leaf will fall off the fabric, eventually cracking the superficial surface and creating a forced "vintage" look. 

Naomi Minkoff, ArtSee Creative Intern

Brooke Bronner, Project Life – Ft. Green
Starting Bid: $900

I enjoy Bronner's works because they take an interesting perspective on urban life. Though she has experienced three different cities—born in Brooklyn, raised in Asia, and now living in DC—there is a sameness in the way Bronner depicts the cities while still visually depicting the small details which make each one recognizably distinct. She uses a zoomed out perspective of cityscapes to emphasize their blocky and repetitive natures. Still, somehow these landscapes appear to be very personal as each building and each floor is different from one another. The viewer is drawn in to ponder life in these cities and the people who, like the artist, live in this geometric maze.

Roxanne Goldberg, ArtSee Creative Writer

Mei Mei Chang, Untitled 1
Starting Bid: $290

Mei Mei Chang has had a fantastic year. Most recently exhibited in Brooklyn, Dallas, and Berlin, in addition to a number of galleries in the DC-area, the artist’s complex and multilayered works offer opportunities for viewers to glimpse into the artist’s mind. At auction, Chang’s 2012 Untitled 1 is a small-scale mixed-media work on handmade paper. The object’s size entices the viewer to approach the work, and thus to confront his perception with that of Chiang. Seen at close proximity, one identifies muted grey houses overcome by yellow, blue and white geometries that together, reference an Asian screen, intended to shield oneself in modesty. This play on peeking is complemented by a bridge coming from an anonymous source. It’s as if we are invited, given permission to surpass the barrier. Given Chiang’s alluring subject matter and her upcoming solo show at The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center in Silver Spring, Untitled 1, previously exhibited at (e)merge art fair and the Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh, NC is an excellent buy for both its aesthetic qualities and market investment.  

Mica Hartman, ArtSee Creative Writer

Breck Brunson, HA! and YEA!
Starting Bid: $50

Corcoran College of Art + Design alum, Breck Brunson has two works featured in the Transformer auction. HA! and YEA! are book paper collages with used frames. Brunson’s use of these aged materials creates a vintage-inspired quality. The images contain soft, muted colors to enhance this timeless look. Brunson’s use of very delicate napkin cutouts, overlaid atop the faces of his now anonymous subjects is very intriguing and is a continuation of this antiquated, lost but preserved in time feeling evoked in HA! and YEA! The retail value is “Priceless!” while the starting bid is $50. This is interesting commentary within the construct of the trash-to-treasure nature of thrift goods. It will be very interesting to see how much these works are auctioned for, adding yet another layer to the “history” of these unique pieces.

For more information on the Transformer 10th Annual Auction, visit the website here. And for a complete list of artists, click here

Bringing the Art in DC to You, 
The ArtSee Team 

Rachel Farbiarz: Take Me With You at Heiner Contemporary

This weekend one of my favorite DC artists will open her solo show at Heiner Contemporary.  The show is collection of three bodies of work that I had the privilege of seeing in progress in her studio over a year ago, just as she was beginning to express the ideas on paper. Rachel Farbiarz has already proven to be a prolific artist who has the ability to create powerful works in almost any medium.  In Take Me With You, Farbiarz will show her work in three different mediums; drawing, collage, and installation.  

The first, which is one of the most profound concepts I have ever seen, is her series entitled The Apology Series. The series is a transcribed apology from the past prime minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, for the country’s participation in illegal activities with the British.  The result is a whimsical, powerful display of words, lines, and if you let your mind wander, an image of a beautiful sentiment.  

In her artist statement, Farbiarz says that she creates her work in “an effort to memorialize, conserve and dignify words, things, people and happenings."

The other piece in Take Me With You that might ring a little closer to home is the collage piece in the series Christmas Truces & Live-and-let-live, entitled Memorial Hill.  This piece is equally as powerful as her more lengthy apology.  It is a beautiful synergy of different mediums to create the image of a procession of various historical figures.  Farbiarz became interested in a period of World War I known as the truces, when members of all sides would come together for a brief time to put war behind them. In this piece she is most interested in what gets left behind in that interaction - both physically and emotionally.  All that is left behind fills the blank space on the piece - both physically and mentally for the viewer.

Take Me With You is on display at Heiner Contemporary September 20 - November 9. For more information see their website. And for more information on Rachel Farbiarz see her website.      

Bringing the Art in DC to You, 


May 10/11: Must Sees

The art forecast is calling for a compelling weekend jam packed with fresh ideas and creative concepts. Be sure to check out our must sees for the weekend:

Opening this weekend:

Hamiltonian Gallery, The Salon of Little Deaths
1353 U Street, NW
Open May 11th – June 15th, 2013 (Opening reception May 11th, 7-9pm)

Matthew Mann and Milana Braslavsky revitalize the enduring genres of landscape and still life with a contemporary approach in The Salon of Little Deaths, an exhibition on view at Hamiltonian.

Matthew Mann investigates narrative and the pictorial vocabulary of painting through disjointed landscapes, dead birds and eruptions of foliage on fields of luminous color. The result is a collection of cryptic works that speak at once to art history and visual perception in the digital age.

Milana Braslavsky‘s seductive photographic still lifes of fruit on tabletops are replete with quiet violence, sexual tension and a wry sensibility. Contrasting the delicacy of ripe fruit with crisply folded linens and household objects, Braslavsky’s sumptuous photographs function both as still lifes and evocative portraits of unseen personages while communicating themes of desire, loss and decay.

On view now:

Heiner Contemporary, STASH
1675 Wisconsin Ave, NW
Open April 26th – June 8th, 2013

Heiner Contemporary is pleased to announce STASH, an exhibition pulled from the gallery's flat files and storage, featuring work by Polly Apfelbaum, Ingrid Calame, Tara Donovan, Deborah Kass, Kate Shepherd, Jon-Phillip Sheridan and Austin Thomas. STASH diverges from typical programming by presenting artwork that is usually viewed by appointment only. From Polly Apfelbaum's bright floral woodblock prints to Tara Donovan's intricate relief print from a pin matrix and Austin Thomas's intimate journal pages, STASH features an array of artistic practices and pursuits. Together, the works reflect the gallery's aesthetic interests and demonstrate an over-arching concern for color and pattern.  (Cover photo courtesy of Heiner Contemporary, Ingrid Calame)

The Fridge, …with love and care
516 ½ 8th St, SE
Open May 4th – 26th, 2013

with love and care is an international group show curated by DC-based artist Astrotwitch. The show features seven artists from places as far as Sao Paulo and Berlin known for creating hand-painted posters to put up on the street.

In an era when it’s simple to print hundreds of copies of a poster, these artists continue a slow production process that creates one-of-a-kind public art that will decay with time, or, more typically, will live on the street for a few weeks before it is stolen or buffed out.

The show will feature original posters, photography of the artists’ work found on the street and a poster mural on the façade of The Fridge.

Participating artists include N.O Bonzo and Circle Face (Portland, OR); MAR! (Los Angeles, CA); Galo (Sao Paulo, Brazil); Alaniz (Berlin, Germany); and DECOY and Astrotwitch (Washington, DC).

Last chance:

The Phillips Collection, Angels, Demons, and Savages: Jackson Pollock, Alfonso Ossorio and Jean Dubuffet
1600 21st Street, NW
CLOSING May 12th. 2013

The Phillips Collection dives into American abstract expressionism to reveal a little-known but captivating story that focuses on the relationship among three of the movement’s seminal players: American painter Jackson Pollock (1912–1956), American artist and patron Alfonso Ossorio (1916–1990), and French painter Jean Dubuffet (1901–1985). Featuring 55 paintings and works on paper from 1945 to 1958, the exhibition illuminates a key moment in postwar art. It reunites a number of works by Pollock and Dubuffet from Ossorio’s collection for the first time since they were dispersed after his death in 1990.

Angels, Demons, and Savages highlights visual affinities between the artists’ work, tracing the impact of Dubuffet’s art brut (art by the mentally ill and other so-called outsiders), the experimental spirit of Pollock’s technique, and Ossorio’s figurative language. As the focal point of the art world shifted from Europe to America, the exchange among the three helped bridge the widening gap between the continents.

Bringing the Art in DC to You, 


Weekend Round-Up: April 19, 2013

Friday, April 19: Opening: Anna Tsouharakis’s EDGES OF THE EPHEMERAL at Flashpoint Gallery 916 G St. NW // 6:00- 8:00 PM Anna Tsouharakis explores the narrative connections that Native Americans have to the diverse facets of identity as it relates to their residence of Washington. After “collecting data” from the local Native community, Tsouhlarakis merges her findings in a full gallery installation that exemplifies a unique look at Native identity by combining a quasi-scientific survey with the real and historic role of oral traditions.

Saturday, April 20:

Curator Talk: Matthew Smith at Heiner Contemporary 1675 Wisconsin Ave NW // 11:00 AM- 12:00 PM To mark the close of Concrete Abstract, that curator Matthew Smith will discuss the themes behind the show, his decisions to include the works in the exhibition, and common threads that bring the show together The works in Concrete Abstract cultivate a non-representational visual language that emerges from familiar ready-made objects, whether these objects are found or alluded to compositionally.

Opening: Sean Smith and Dafna Steinberg in Million Dollar Cupcake and Eat What I Feel at Doris Mae 1716 14th St. NW // 6:00- 8:00 PM Sean Smith’s new solo exhibition will be accompanied by an eating performance by Dafna Steinberg.

Opening: Smoke & Mirrors: James Busby’s Solo Exhibition 1326 H St. NE, 2nd Floor James Busby’s new solo exhibition explores geometric patterns and selected colors within monochrome schemes to create complex and interesting optical illusions

Opening: James Turrell Perspectives at Academy Art Museum 108 South Street, Easton, MD Take a road trip to Easton, MD for the opening of James Turrell Perspectives, a new exhibition of the internationally-acclaimed light and space artist James Turrell, that features a new installation entitled St. Elmo’s Light, as well as many other works never before on public view, including a room of holograms, a site-specific light installation, a selection of photographs and plans and a set of bronze and plaster models related to the Roden Crater project in Arizona.

ArtSee in NY: Scope, Volta and Salon Zurcher

So far, so inspiring. Despite our early start to the day (6:30am train from DC) we arrived and conquered the first leg of our NYC art fair weekend. After visiting SCOPE NYC, VOLTA NY, and Salon Zucher, many themes were visible through the showcased works and my interest and curiosity was exceedingly met.

SCOPE presented a managable fair with loads of outstanding contemporary artists. Our early arrival allowed for us to dive into each boot with intensity. I found an overwhelming amount of artists were distinctly influenced by pop art, using text and pop culture imagery in alternative fashions and stepping away from neon light text. This was refreshing yet reminiscent in a way. I also found myself drawn to collage work, a medium I've always been impressed with but it really stood out to me yesterday. But, the work that we found ourselves drawn to most was a piece by Nick Gentry with the Robert Fontaine Gallery. The work was a "traditional portrait" with a twist, the canvas was a collage of repurposed floppy disks. 


As we ventured over to VOLTA, after devouring lunch at my old favorite NoHo Star, we were greeted with a packed venue of galleries showcasing individual artists works. A few artists immediately stood out to us using familiar objects and repurposing them into contemporary sculptural pieces, a prevelant theme at SCOPE as well. VOLTA proved to be facinating to me because unlike SCOPE, the galleries highlighted individuals, instead of a group show.  We were lucky to catch up with the artist Cynthia Ona Innis at Walter Maciel. Her work has transformers recently to include more purples and brighter neons. It's in my newly appreciated collage style using fabrics too.


Our last stop of the day was over at Salon Zurcher where our friends Elizabeth and Margaret from Heiner Contemporary in DC had set up a pop up gallery along with seven other galleries from around the world. It was the perfect end to the day visiting their space and viewing familiar artists through a personal, manageable setting.  While we were thrilled to see the great work Heiner brought, our take home piece from the show came from artist Christoph Roßner from Romer Young in San Francisco. His application and color were captivating and his narrative unclear.


Overall, my thoughts on Day 1 in NYC are simple. Lots of repurposing, lots of pop art, not a lot of neon, and apparently I'm obsessed with collage. Bring it on Armory!

Bringing the Art in NY to You,


Coming Home to Heiner Contemporary: A Group Show

An antique wooden cart piled high with seemingly ordinary objects dares visitors to engage, to take a close examination, crouching on their knees in an effort to investigate the pots and pans, standing on their toes to scrutinize the saws and hammers. 


In Housebound, a new exhibition at Heiner Contemporary, each artwork invites visitors to participate in an intimate viewing of domestic space.

The experience begins upon approaching the Book Hill neighborhood gallery, where one is confronted by an abstracted interior standing in the window. A curious installation featuring hanging stairwell banisters and a traditional wooden chair holding an aged sewing machine immediately draws the onlooker’s attention with its baby pink, sea foam green and white color scheme reminiscent of the 1950’s home.

 “It’s all about what you leave behind once you’ve made the hard choices and you’re running out the door,” said artist Rachel Farbiarz of her original work I Wish I Could, “There are certain details you don’t notice in your home, like the shingles on your roof, but at any point in life you would recognize them.”

 “Your home is where you keep your memories and as you grow so does your home. It becomes a reflection of the self and the rooms become an extension of one’s personality,” said Assistant Director Elizabeth Parkman, who in collaboration with gallery owner Margaret Heiner, first envisioned an exhibition exploring the varying definitions of ‘home’ in 2010, a year before opening Heiner.

Shortly after realizing their vision, the curatorial duo set out collecting such artworks as Ann Toebbe’s flat, birds-eye view drawings of friends’ apartments rendered entirely from memory, and Allison Reimus’ delightfully playful and optically intriguing Vessel paintings that abstract architectural and design elements to create a three-dimensional space on a flat surface, executed with such genuine tactility that one must restrain himself from running his fingers along what appears to be lace or gauze.

 Parkman is interested in the psychology of the home, and the exhibition succeeds at questioning the affect a home has on a person and the effect an individual can have on a domestic space.

 ”I had to imagine what it would be like to take your domestic space with you. What happens when it becomes the exterior and you have to take your home on the go?” said Farbiarz of her work Take me with you that is evocative of the refugee experience and echoes the carts characteristically used by the homeless to carry possessions.

Though Farbiarz’s works were constructed mostly from items purchased in thrift stores, the carefully selected fond objects are similar to the Housebound works on paper,in their evocation of highly personalized, yet universal motifs.


Pieces from a crystal chandelier are suggestive of Farbiarz’s grandmother’s prized possessions, and the sewing machine is an homage to a photograph of a woman in the Democratic Republic of Congo who when forced to leave her home, took the one object that cultivated her livelihood. The sewing machine as not only her source of income, but also her genesis of pride, inspired the saws and hammers as an expression of the artist’s father who after escaping the horrors of WWII took the tools necessary to find work.

 Housebound is on display until January 5, 2013. More information can be found on the Heiner Contemporary here.

Bringing the Art in DC to You, 

Roxanne Goldberg