Heat Maps: a group show with Messy Beck, Johanna St. Clair, and Amber Jean Young

12 August - 2 September 2022

September 1st, 2022, 4-6pm
Exhibit Dates
August 11th - September 2nd, 2022

Eleanor Harwood Gallery is delighted to host three women for our summer exhibition: “Heat Maps”.  Heat maps represent density or intensities of data. Messy Beck brings us the exuberance and celebration of nakedness and sexuality, Johanna St. Claire the profusion and pleasure nature brings us, and Amber Jean Young digs from the memories in her life and lights up her paintings with references to her childhood, mother and father. 

Together, the paintings bring us a vivid, warm and sensual take on our world. The paintings vary stylistically, with Beck’s work being illustrative and representational, nearly comic-book-like and playful. St. Claire's work is very close to abstraction with masterful oil-paint handling and sublime color juxtapositions reminiscent of Impressionism. Young’s hand feels contemporary and bold in keeping with currently well known still-life painters such as Anna Valdez and Hilary Pecis.

Together the works are adventurous and liberated, pointing us to what each artist finds compelling and fascinating in their own lives. Beck celebrates “the complex and dynamic nature of women”. St. Clair revels in the busyness of lines presented by stalks, stems and blooms in a cacophonous natural world. Young’s work points to her upbringing. The patterns and textures in her work point to her mother’s love of textiles. The curtains and stages in her large painting “Black Velvet Solo”, refer to her father’s performances on stage that she attended as a child. Her father is Neil Young. We can imagine that music and theatricality played a huge part in her childhood. The patterns draped over the stage refer back to her mother. “Black Velvet Solo”, is a family portrait of sorts, a heat map of memory. 

This exhibit is a celebration of each artist’s motivations and curiosities.