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Jay Heikes

Jay Heikes at work

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Highpoint Editions is honored to present a group of prints resulting from our collaboration with visiting artist Jay Heikes. During the course of Heikes’ project with Highpoint, he explored the idea of the exquisite corpse– a surrealist parlor game–through cyanotype, lithography, and screenprinting. His explorations in printmaking led him from lithography and screenprinting to working by hand with asphaltum, a medium typically applied as a protective coating on etching plates. The resulting prints typify Heikes’ interest in pushing the physical and evocative properties of materials, using them in new and visually powerful ways.

At various moments throughout his career, Heikes has celebrated both the physical and mystical properties of his materials in an exploration of what might be considered alchemical processes more akin to the natural world than the art world. He has talked about finding a space in his work that is “just beyond corrosion, one of complete alienation between human and material where there are things to be discovered but also the possibility of destruction.” At Highpoint, his elemental investigations led him to asphaltum, a tar-like substance commonly applied to etching plates to protect them from unwanted scratches on the printing surface. Heikes proposed using this non-archival, decidedly untidy, and slightly noxious material in an unorthodox way – as ink -resulting in prints of extraordinary inventiveness and visceral power.

– Betsy Carpenter, Independent Curator

Jay Heikes (b. 1975, Princeton, NJ) holds degrees from the University of Michigan (BFA) and Yale University (MFA), and lives and works in Minneapolis, MN. His work has been collected and exhibited widely at galleries and museums in North America and Europe, including the Aspen Art Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia), P.S. 1 (New York), the New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York), and Walker Art Center (Minneapolis). Heikes participated in the 2006 Whitney Biennial, and is represented by Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York and Federica Schiavo Gallery in Rome, Italy.