Heidi Howard and Liz Phillips “Relative Fields in a Garden”

Queens Museum of Art

poster for Heidi Howard and Liz Phillips “Relative Fields in a Garden”

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On the occasion of Queens International 2018: Volumes, mother Liz Phillips and daughter Heidi Howard present their first artistic collaboration, Relative Fields in a Garden. A multimedia installation, the work combines Howard’s vivid, gestural portraiture on the surface of the 40-foot wall with Phillips’ sound work, which creates interactive sound fields using wave transmissions. It remains on view as part of Queens Museum’s Large Wall series, featuring year-long commissions by women-identified artists.

The combination of image and sound includes fantastical flora and field recordings that bridge representation and abstraction, in a tender depiction of three generations of women and Phillips’ own Sunnyside, Queens garden as it transitions through the seasons. Mother and daughter collaborated on 3D elements such as ceramic flowers, bamboo, and birch veneer which animate the painting aurally as well as visually with tactile sound from Phillips’ transducers. Furthering exploring interactions between sensory information, Phillips’ composition of the sounds of wildlife, running water, leaves rustling, and city noises such as garbage pickup also responds to the passage of sunlight across the wall through the use of sensors.

The mother and daughter worked simultaneously. Howard invoked a synaesthetic approach–in which she related her brushstrokes and color choices to the experience of hearing Phillips’ sound selections as they played in the atrium of the museum. Both artists convey their perception of physical and emotional environments, transmuted through their respective sensibilities and mediums. They invite us to sit in three garden chairs previously owned by Phillips’ mother Geraldine, vibrating with sounds of the river she loved; here we can consider the domestic sphere of the garden and its politics of relation and simultaneity— embodying care and control, unruliness and collaboration, work and pleasure, growth and decline.

Heidi Howard (b.1986, New York, NY) has exhibited her work at Nancy Margolis Gallery, New York, NY (2017, 2016, 2015), Gaa Gallery, Provincetown, MA and Cologne, Germany (2018, 2017), The Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, NJ (2017), James Cohan Gallery, New York, NY (2016) and many more. She has been an artist in residence at Palazzo Monti (2018), Byrdcliffe (2014) and the Vermont Studio Center (2011). She received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and her MFA from Columbia University. She lives and works between Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Queens, New York.

Liz Phillips (b. 1951, Jersey City, NJ) studied at Bennington College and received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1986. She has been making interactive sound installations for over four decades at venues such as Harvestworks on Governors Island, NY (2017); Creative Time (1981,2001); Lincoln Center, New York, NY (2002, 2001); the Jewish Museum, New York, NY (2002); Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria (1991, 1988); the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (1988, 1985); and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands (1978) and many more.

[Image: Heidi Howard and Liz Phillips, Relative Fields in a Garden, 2018. Acrylic paint, ceramic, bamboo, birch veneer, mirror film, metal chairs, Serge analog synthesizer, sound transducers, light sensors and multichannel looping audio players. Courtesy the artists. Photo by Hai Zhang.]



from October 07, 2018 to August 18, 2019

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