In a review of his White Columns show last summer, Art in America drew a connection between Daniel Heidkamp's paintings and the work of The Barbizon School. This art historical reference was one he'd never considered, but a subsequent investigation -- perhaps searching for the shared language identified by the art critic -- led Heidkamp to France to see for himself the forests and townscapes once populated by Millet, Sisley and Corot. He also made a pilgrimage to Paris where he painted the new Frank Gehry building just a week before it opened. Much like Heidkamp's previous paintings of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Foundation Louis Vuitton -- this shiny institutional fortress -- can seem both impenetrable and awe-inspiring through the eyes of a young artist.
The sum total of Heidkamp's creative output during his trip abroad, along with a few nudes of exclusively French models, is now on view at half gallery as "The Barbizon Beauty School." The show title fuses the name of a New York modeling agency founded in the 1930s with the fabled French school of painters a century earlier. On one floor, Heidkamp presents paintings made from life, these canvases -- in what he sees as a conceptual move amid today's tech-heavy backdrop -- have not been touched by him since they were finished in France. On another floor, he presents idealized paintings made from memory where he sometimes uses his from life pieces (he shuns the idea of labeling them "studies") as source material. This is Daniel's second show at half gallery since "Sneeze Buds" in 2013. Most recently, he exhibited at The Journal in a group portrait show alongside Henry Taylor, Lily Ludlow and Dana Schutz.
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