Saturday, May 29, 2010

Daniel Heimbinder at the Joannex

The Joannex continues to have some of the most interesting shows in town (I'd put them even with The Temporary Space on that score). I knew nothing about Daniel Heimbinder before this show, but I was blown away by the sheer draughtsmanly exuberance of his work. He can draw--there is no doubt about it (and my photos really don't do his drawings justice)--and what he chooses to draw just works on multiple levels.

For example, he has a bunch of watercolors and colored drawings called Time Wounds All Heels (inspired by Nick Lowe perhaps?).

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Daniel Heimbinder, Time Wounds All Heels, watercolor (?)

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Daniel Heimbinder, Time Wounds All Heels, watercolor (?)

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Daniel Heimbinder, Time Wounds All Heels, watercolor (?)

Really fun pieces. In their surreal cartoonishness, they recall Saul Steinberg. But I think there is an even more direct precedent.


http://www.nga.gov/press/exh/251/assets/251-009-lrg.jpg
Philip Guston, Rug, oil on canvas, 1976

These bigfoot shoes started appearing regularly in Guston's paintings towards the end of his life. Heimbinder's heels are more antic, less autumnal. They are a young man's shoes.

There were several extremely large drawings with highly textured figures (very abstract, generalized figures--they are relatives to the "PED XING" man). They have white areas that define their structure--they look like the lines you would make a stick figure out of. On these white "bones" is a bumpy, somewhat diseased looking flesh. The figures are doing twerrible things to each other, and are caught in moments of violent motion--with manga-like motion lines added.

Daniel Heimbinder
Daniel Heimbinder, not sure about the title, drawing on paper

Daniel Heimbinder
Daniel Heimbinder, not sure about the title, drawing on paper

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Daniel Heimbinder, not sure about the title (detail), drawing on paper

The surface of these "people" is so detailed, so obsessively worked over.

Not everything Heimbinder had inthe show had such a strong relationship to cartooning. This multi-part piece were black velvet paintings of various crystal chalices, goblets, etc.

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Daniel Heimbinder, Crystal (installation view), painting

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Daniel Heimbinder, Crystal (detail), painting

Heimbinder's work feels like he's coming out of an illustration background. What ultimately comes through is a love of drawing. The sheer size of these pieces speaks to that as well--that's something that can easily be shown here on the webpage. Their size afford them a real presence for the viewer. Moving the Joanna to the larger Joannex space allows them to show work on this scale--which is a wonderful thing.

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