Julie Heffernan’s recent paintings explore imaginative scenarios and alternative habitats as her personal response to the threat of environmental disasters.
With waters rising all over the globe, Heffernan imagines worlds in trees or life on rafts in which undulating mattresses, tree branches, and road signs act as guides for this wayward journey. Construction cones interrupt the landscape, signaling places to stop and enter interior worlds, to reflect on the human condition—its feckless activity, violence, failure, and redemption. Heffernan reveals worlds within worlds, where her characters tend these alternative environments and safeguard remaining bounties we cannot live without. Her attention to detail—rendering in miniature the Palmyra Temple destroyed by ISIS or the names of embarkation points for Syrian refugees—is a way to remember calamitous events of the past years and mark the plights of victims of current unrest. For Heffernan, this unrest is exacerbated by diminishing water resources and drought due to changing weather patterns and planetary excess. Intricately wrought, Heffernan’s paintings evoke the fantastical allegory of Hieronymus Bosch and the sublime of Thomas Cole and Albert Bierstadt.
With these paintings, Heffernan spells out the dilemma of climate change, but also begins the conversation about how we might adapt to vastly different climatic conditions. The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-color catalogue with plates of works included in the exhibition and others selected for their environmental message as well as texts by Julie Heffernan and exhibition curator Courtney Taylor.
Number of Works: 
11 paintings (ranging from 55 x 65 to 70 x 105 in)
Minimum size:
125 linear feet
Organized by:
LSU Museum of Art
Booking Period: 
8–9 weeks
January–March 2019
Participation Fee: 
$4,500, includes 25 publication copies
LSU Museum of Art makes all arrangements,
exhibitors pay pro-rated shipping.
Courtney Taylor, Curator
Julie Heffernan received her MFA in Painting from Yale and a BFA from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Heffernan has received numerous grants including an NEA, NYFA, and Fullbright Fellowship and is in the collection of major museums including the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. She is represented by P.P.O.W in New York and Catharine Clark in San Francisco. Heffernan is a Professor of Fine Arts at Montclair State University.

Image credit: Julie Heffernan, Camp Bedlam, 2016, oil on canvas, courtesy of Catharine Clark Gallery.

Categories: Traveling Exhibitions