Hosfelt Gallery will present a solo exhibition of paintings by SECA Art Award recipient Andrea Higgins.
Color-field or portrait painting? Andrea Higgins reproduces the warp and weft of fabric swatches through painstakingly applied layers of oil paint to “weave” evocative “portraits.” Inspired by childhood trips to Britex Fabrics with her grandmother and a research grant to study weaving in Indonesia, Higgins explores the cultural importance of textiles, their potential to convey associations and the way that individuals use their apparel to present a particular image to the outside world.
Perhaps best known for her portraits of wives of American Presidents, Higgin’s depictions reflect the personality, taste, and cultural or historical context of their subjects. In this exhibition, three works represent characters from novels who are particularly attuned to the social import of their dress, while two paintings from a new series—portrayals of military ribbons—address contemporary social and cultural issues.
Higgins’ post-minimal abstractions—optical and shimmery—controvert the historical notion that abstract painting is without content. A further layer of meaning can be found in the way Higgins allows the canvas she paints upon to appear between the brushstrokes of the “fibers” she’s painting… a self-referential representation of a textile, painted upon a textile.
Andrea Higgins (b. 1970 Kansas City, MO; lives and works in San Francisco) earned a B.A. at Dartmouth College and an M.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute. In 2003 Higgins was the recipient of SFMoMA’s SECA Award.