Wes Heiss HUSK
Tuesday, January 16 through Tuesday, February 13
Barbara Walters Gallery
Hours: M - F 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; S/S 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Opening Reception: Tuesday, January 23rd, 6:00 - 8:00p.m.
Sarah Lawrence College is pleased to announce HUSK, a solo exhibition of new work by Wes Heiss. On view at the Heimbold Visual Art Center’s Barbara Walters Gallery, it is free and open to the Public. For more information please call 914-395- 2355 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wes Heiss’ exhibition is a part of the on-going emerging artists series held during the 2006-2007 academic year. Members of the college’s visual arts and visual culture faculty in conjunction with their students select each artist in the series.
In March of 1965, Ralph Nader appeared before a senate subcommittee hearing and began his assault on the automotive industry. It was the beginning of a massive sweeping change in America’s attitude towards safety and our trust in both corporations and technology. In the center of this controversy was the Corvair. Nader accused General Motors of designing a car that would easily roll over and of failing to revise the design because it would prove expensive. Often considered the most radical mass produced car to come out of a major American car company, the Corvair was both an unprecedented risk for General Motors and an easy target. In actuality, the Corvair was statistically safer than other popular cars of the time such as the Volkswagen Beetle. However, the whole industry was plagued with questionable attitudes and needed the shakeup in order to instigate change. But the story is more complicated than it seems. Through his attacks on the design of the Corvair, Nader had unwittingly convinced the American automotive industry to play it safe with respect to innovation. It was the beginning of America’s slip from the top of the design world.
Brooklyn, NY and Allentown, PA based artist Wes Heiss will be exhibiting an installation work entitled HUSK. Heiss’ installation in the Barbara Walters gallery involves his family’s decayed but cherished 1966 Chevrolet Corvair Corsa. The car has been stripped of all removable parts, soaked in acid, powder-coated white, and mounted on a motor driven rotisserie so as to spin on its long axis. This work compounds the controversy that surrounds the Chevrolet Corvair with a personal narrative about obsession.
According to the artist’s statement, his work is driven by an interest in exploring absurd notions that parallel fundamental questions. Often attempting to seduce a viewer with forms, materials, and technologies that evoke a joyful childlike curiosity, these works both build upon and challenge the give and take relationship we have with the mechanized world. While feeding upon a sense of cultural paranoia these works set into motion cyclic Sisyphean dependencies
Wes Heiss received a BA from Bennington College in 1996, a Master of Architecture from Rice University in 2000 and attended the Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting in 2004. He has exhibited at The LAB gallery, Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Lawndale Art Center, Arthouse, BlueStar Art Space, Project Row Houses, and Menil Collection in Texas. He has received grants from Artadia: the fund for art and Dialog, The Dallas Museum of Art, and CACHH. He taught architecture and video at Rice University and currently teaches design at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY and Allentown, PA. For more information on his work visit his web site.