Selected works by Valerie Hegarty

Valerie Hegarty
Niagara Falls


Foam core, paper, paint, gel medium, glue

150 x 300 x 65 cm

For Valerie Hegarty, the joy of her work lies in its destruction rather than its making. Centring her practice on the politics of the American myth, Hegarty’s canvases and sculptures replicate emblems of frontier ethos - colonial furniture, antique dishware, and heroic paintings of landscapes and national figures only to demolish them by devices associated with their historical significance.

Valerie Hegarty
Cracked Canyon


Foam core, paper, paint, wood, glue, gel medium

200 x 192 x 5 cm

In the pieces viewed here, Hegarty theatrically reconstructs ‘masterpieces’ based on works by Frederick Church and Thomas Moran from fragile materials such as foam-core, paper, and wood, before falsifying their ruination. Rotted and battered nearly beyond recognition, Niagara Falls literally pours from the wall as a twisted wreck; while Cracked Canyon is broken through with a seismic fissure running from the gallery floor to ceiling.

Through Hegarty’s eradicative intervention, her objects gain both formal and narrative authority. Capitalising on her highly attenuate subversion of materials, Hegarty’s work poses as artefacts of known history gone awry, envisioning an alternative world order of smug irony and poetic justice.

Valerie Hegarty
Still Burning


Canvas, paint, foamcore, paper, gel medium

198.1 x 152.4 x 3.8 cm


By Astrid Wege

Franz West's exhibition "Plakatentwurfe"(Poster designs) began with instructions from the artist: "As in my earlier PaBstucke," West states in a wall work directly next to the entrance, "the designs are not merely for reception but rather for interaction." At once both invitation and interpretation, his introduction marks a shift in emphasis.

The PaBstucke--amorphously suggestive hybrids between sculpture, prosthetics, and cult objects--shed light, by virtue of their various use-possibilities, on the relationship between art object and recipient; the "Poster Designs," 2000--works on paper, wood, and foam that refer to the current show as well as to past exhibitions by West and his friends--make reference more to the gallery space. They are intended to provoke a different relationship between artwork, exhibition space, and recipient--an agenda West shares with the various artistic endeavors to undermine or reconfigure the conventional white cube and the conditions of reception that it implies, but which he pursues with his own sense of irony.

The entry room showed, in West's words, two "examples of hanging methods": Organized in groups of three or four, in one case the works were hung from the top edge of the wall; in the adjoining room some were placed on the floor, leaning against a wall "specifically prepared for that purpose" by Georgian artist Tamuna Sirbiladze. The installation was completed with a circular seat-sculpture in the middle of the room. With its reference to the seating provided in nineteenth-century museums, and despite its ambivalent status between art-object and use-object, Puf functioned as a reminder of a contemplative approach to art and thus stood in counterpoint to the possibility of rearranging the works--an invitation the gallerist underscored by pointing out the gloves laid out for that purpose.