Mary Heilmann - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session New York Thursday, May 19, 2022 | Phillips

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  • "It’s funny that you can get such a lot of powerful juice out of such an old, used form, but it is amazing that you can."
    —Mary Heilmann
    Mary Heilmann’s grid paintings are a testament to her admiration for artists like Piet Mondrian, Agnes Martin and Ellsworth Kelly. Throughout her decades-long practice, Heilmann has created geometric paintings that are emotional and beautiful. With a subtle application of layered pigments and accidental drips, Le Mans, painted in 1989, is more than what initially meets the eye. As the grid lines ever-so-slightly waver and rich blues show subtly beneath what appears to be a black-and-white checkerboard, the present work is a wonderful example of Heilmann’s unique ability to bring both playfulness and depth into her compositions.  

    • Provenance

      Pat Hearn Gallery, New York
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, 1989 Biennial Exhibition, April 18–July 9, 1989, pp. 63, 245 (illustrated, p. 63)
      Overland Park, Gallery of Art, Johnson County Community College, Mary Heilmann: Selected Works 1978-1998, November 22, 1998–January 20, 1999
      Maastricht, Bonnefanten Museum, Mary Heilmann Good Vibrations, October 2, 2012–January 27, 2013, pp. 73, 222 (illustrated, p. 73)

    • Literature

      David Pagel, "Heilmann's Everyday Pageantry (or, it's easy to be a hedonist if discipline is among your loves)," Johnson County Community College, Gallery of Art, Overland Park, 1998, n.p., online (illustrated)
      Deborah D Campbell, “Playing with the big guys,” Pitch Weekly, December 3–9, 1998
      Alice Thorson, “Fun and feminism in the abstract,” The Kansas City Star, December 6, 1998, p. J-1
      Tatsumi Shinoda, “A point of view of modern art,” Ikebana Sogetsu, December 2006, no. 289, p. 38


Le Mans

signed with the artist’s initials and dated "MH 89" on the reverse
oil on canvas
80 1/4 x 60 in. (203.8 x 152.4 cm)
Painted in 1989.

Full Cataloguing

$70,000 - 100,000 

Sold for $189,000

Contact Specialist

Annie Dolan
Specialist, Head of Day Sale, Morning Session
+1 212 940 1288

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session

New York Auction 19 May 2022