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Jay Heikes

It’s been only six years since artist Jay Heikeshad his first solo show in New York, and this Fall he returns for “Walkabout,” his third solo exhibition at Marianne Boesky Gallery. Initially appearing to be in stark contrast to “Like a Broken Record,” his first show in 2007, the majority of the new works are composed of soft, bleeding colors on pallid surfaces rather than the black, detrital motifs from years prior. According to the press release, the variety of the works on view “demonstrate Heikes’ eclectic and experimental studio practice” while concomitantly exploring themes of alchemy and pseudosciences. Jay Heikes draws clever parallels between these naïve disciplines and artistic practice by alluding to surrealist dictums on what defines an artwork and by allowing bizarre materials (horse hair, aluminum solphate, bismuth, burlap, taconite, among others) to transform into art through their inclusion into the exhibition. Ideas of mutation and self-reflexivity are consistent in Heikes’ work; in his two previous exhibitions at the gallery he has experimented with the chemical reactions that occur when two unique materials meet. It would appear that while Jay Heikes is the master and commander in the studio, his frequent collaborator is happenstance. Heikes showcases how science can still be wizardry, while illustrating how the artist can be an agent of both.