Heide Fasnacht

Past Imperfect

November 19 - February 8

Invertigo A, 2019, 48” x 60” 

Martin Art Gallery is pleased to host Heide Fasnacht for her exhibition, Past Imperfect, in the main Gallery, and adjacent Galleria display spaces at Muhlenberg College. We will hold a public reception on Tuesday November 19, from 5:30 – 7:00pm. Additionally, Fasnacht will give an artist talk on Thursday January 23rd at 7:00pm, in the Recital Hall, adjacent to the Gallery.

Heide Fasnacht has returned to painting after several decades. This return has ushered in a commensurate new area of interest: the depiction of neglected and long forgotten playgrounds. This work is more personal in nature than her previous sculptures. The bodily feelings evoked by climbing and swinging include vertigo, confusion, excitement and mastery. All of this and more are explored through the more direct and fluid medium of paint.

For this show, Fasnacht is working from scanned negatives which she digitally manipulates and prints in a cut up and collaged layer over wooden panels. She then applies paint to the surfaces, inexorably tying the two media together. Our focus alternates between photographic and painted images, allowing for the emergence of improvised spaces of playful engagement. Complicated by their dystopian monochromatic tenor, the obliterated settings have a frenetic Rube Goldbergian feel. Ladders, tightropes, swings, and cats make these dreamscapes a kind of diagram that outlines the machinery of childhood.

Fasnacht has shown an abiding interest in states of instability. These concepts have been explored through large scale drawings and sculptures, photo-based work, and prints. The aftereffects of historical occurrences (iconoclasm), risk economics (implosions) and geological processes (earthquakes & implosions) are revealed in fracturing and damage. Deforming and reforming reveals fissures: damage and contortions on the landscape, in culture, in the built environment. Fasnacht’s process reflects these shifting events in both content and process. Her works have been on view at Preview Berlin, Qbox Gallery and Art Athina in Athens Greece, Kent Gallery, Socrates Sculpture Park, and the American Academy of Arts & Letters in NYC.

Since her first one-person show at P.S. 1 in 1979, Fasnacht has exhibited worldwide. She has been in exhibitions at MOMA, The Aldrich Museum for Contemporary Art, RAM Galerie, Rotterdam, Galeria Trama in Barcelona, The Worcester Art Museum and many others. She is in many permanent collections including: the MFA Boston, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, The Walker Art Center and the Yale University Art Gallery. Fasnacht is also the recipient of numerous awards, including The Guggenheim Fellowship, several National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, The Gottlieb Foundation Grant, and two Pollock-Krasner Foundation Fellowships. She has taught at Harvard, Princeton, U Penn, UCLA, Parsons School of Design, and others. Further visiting lectures include Yale, The Whitney Museum, RISD and VCU.

The Martin Art Gallery is open Tuesday - Saturday 12 - 8pm, While works in the Galleria space can be seen anytime the Center for the Arts is open, typically 9am - 9pm

Download the press release for this exhibition

Download the catalog

collection of images heide fasnacht

Contact Information

Paul Nicholson

Director, Martin Art Gallery
Address Muhlenberg College Baker Center for the Arts 2400 Chew Street Allentown, PA 18104