Carol Heft began studying drawing and painting with Robert Brackman, N.A. at the age of 12, and later studied printmaking in high school and drawing and painting at the Rhode Island School of Design. She moved to New York City in 1976, and has lived and worked there ever since. Currently, she splits her time between New York, and the Lehigh Valley, where she teaches art and art history.
An artist with a broad range of interests, her most recent work incorporates bits of paper culled from throw-away objects to create unified surfaces motivated by the Divisionism of Seurat, the glistening and jeweled surfaces of old Byzantium, and contemporary mosaic artists like Isaiah Zagar of Philadelphia. Other influences are the gestural action paintings of the American abstract expressionist and New York School, and Paleolithic art.
Carol is married to Jazz musician and composer Bill Warfield, and they have collaborated a number of times on concerts, exhibitions, and lectures. Analogies between music and art are an important aspect of her work, including the melodic line, orchestration of color, compositional development, and rhythm. According to Carol, “Sometimes I think of the brushstrokes or small paper tesserea as individual notes that interact, creating small pockets of harmony or discord, with the whole always being greater than the sum of it’s parts.” Musical texture and color are translated into visual language in her work, sometimes intuitively, sometimes on a conscious level, but the design similarities between weight and volume and dynamic range in music are always present.
"Landscape 2" Original Pencil Drawing by Carol Heft
“In my recent work, I have moved toward untangling the iconographic and emotional content from the concrete visual presence of the subject. Just as the environments and objects in representational art embody part of the message, the formal aspects of my work do the same. Gesture, color, the varying scale of marks, and the spacial movement in the picture plane are what intrigue me. To me these visual elements transform my experience of the natural world into a magical, spiritual place, and that is what I hope to share with the people who look at and appreciate my work.“.
Carol’s work is represented in many corporate and private collections, and she has been reviewed in national art periodicals such as Arts Magazine, ArtDeal, and Art in Review.
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