Mary Heilmann (*1940 in San Fransisco) combines elements of abstraction and Conceptual art with the bright colors, wit, and playfulness of Pop artists. Among the preeminent abstract painters of her generation, Heilmann creates works that are both formally adventurous and richly evocative, marked by loose brushwork and bold patterning. Raised in Southern California and influenced by the surfer culture of the 1950s/60s, Heilmann deliberately places her works in an iconography of well-known film and music quotations.
In the enigmatic No Passing, Heilmann may have thought of a road movie of the 1970s: "Vanishing Point" directed by Richard C. Sarafian. Two yellow stripes on a black background that taper towards the center of the picture are reminiscent of comic-like cones of light from car headlights that race head-on towards the viewer on a road at night. The offensive painterly application of paint on the yellow surfaces not only suggests a certain three-dimensionality through the supposed perspective, but also evokes figurative elements in the viewer's imagination despite the purely tangible forms. The work, however, remains what it is: representational abstraction.
No Passing is offered in collaboration with Crown Point Press. The edition was published by Crown Point Press and printed by Sam Carr-Prindle.