Before you come to the museum, get to know a little about Hegarty and her work.
Valerie Hegarty is a visual artist based in Brooklyn who creates paintings, sculptures, and installations that often address themes of memory, place, and history. She’s had a number of solo exhibitions as well as a commission for a public sculpture on the High Line, NYC and her most recent show of site-specific installations in The Brooklyn Museum’s period rooms.
Informed by the current turbulent state of our country while also excavating from America’s past, Valerie Hegarty often turns the gallery into a dramatic place of change. She constructs canvases and sculptures that replicate paintings and antiques from early American art history, only to destroy or ruinate them in some manner.
Unconstrained by a traditional frame and falling apart, Fallen Bierstadt (2007), which appears charred and slashed, reinterprets the constructed, romanticized artworks of early American landscape painters by questioning their assumptions and ideals. In this case, it’s a reinterpretation of Albert Bierstadt’s idyllic image of Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite (1871-1873).
Contributing to the larger discussions around ecocriticism, art history, and American history, Fallen Bierstadt rejects the unspoiled version of the American West portrayed by Bierstadt and calls upon viewers to consider how humans have shaped our contemporary natural and political landscapes.
Watch this brief video of Hegarty introducing Fallen Bierstadt at the Brooklyn Museum:
Hegarty’s collective work is at once experimental and subversive: her work thrives in critique and dismantling. Besides Bierstadt, Hegarty’s artwork has also referenced George Washington, Winslow Homer, and Mark Rothko. Hegarty’s signature mixture of media and subject matter allows viewers to consider our collective American memory, history, and nature.
Watch this brief video clip of Hegarty in conversation with art historian Marisa Kayyem talking about works from her exhibition American Berserk at Burning in Water Gallery in New York City:
Get your free tickets to Valerie Hegarty’s Spotlight Talk at Crystal Bridges here!