Art of the Day: Tracey Hegelson, Horizon Lines (Eight), 2008

  January 16th, 2011

Tracey Hegelson - Horizon Lines (Eight)
       Tracey Hegelson, Horizon Lines (Eight), 2008

This must be gorgeous in person. The way mauve & magenta trade strokes and meld, the way that rust maroon lurks under everything, under that stripe of acid-lime, creeping around the border. The texture, the color-associations, all of it makes me feel like it was executed on a metal sheet. I like imagining the painting taking up an entire wall at the end of a long & gradually darkening hallway, pulsing and glowing there like the exhaling barrel of some kind of beautiful exotic weaponry that even being in breathing radius of becomes deeply, deeply unhealthy. But though there is menace here, & violence past (or to come), there is also tragedy & mourning, a lonesome alien elegy.

Hegelson art, bio and information at

Credit to the great NYC art blog for introducing me to Hegelson’s work.

All writing © copyright C. Way / 2011

[posted by C Way at 7:05 PM]


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Comments (4) To “Art of the Day: Tracey Hegelson, Horizon Lines (Eight), 2008”

  1. Chris Rywalt said:

    I came here after you commented on my site — circular links! — and I saw this and was, like, hey, isn’t that the painting sitting on a shelf right behind me? Weird!

    I should mention that the painting reproduced here is actually just about four inches square. I don’t personally see any menace in it although the color associations do seem as if they’d point that way. Now I’m picking up a little since you mentioned it. What I see in it — and why I scanned it at such high resolution — is what I see in all of Tracy’s paintings, which is I think what makes them great, and that’s the hand of the artist. The texture of her work is the thing that makes me shiver.

  2. C Way said:

    Chris, thanks for checking in — ah, lucky, you own this piece! I love it. Yeah, I tried rummaging around in myself to understand why I get — among other things — “menace” from this piece. I think it’s a) the color-harmonies/dissonances, they unsettle me in a kinaesthetic way I’d probably have to go back to childhood to explain; b) the way the piece evokes the american west for me, lonely highways, hitchhikers, Cormac McCarthy novels (“Evening Redness”), etc. The texture and brushstrokes add to that image for me — and I agree with you, they’re key! — they’re immediate and powerful & make me imagine some gust 20 miles outside of Reno whipping dust against a windshield or something.

  3. Tracy said:

    Thank you, anonymous person, for posting my work and I was really intrigued by your observations. I like that you see menace and violence in them, I have never felt myself to be only a ‘beautiful landscape’ painterchick, although that is mostly how I am perceived, I think;)

  4. C Way said:

    Tracy — thank Chris over at too for featuring your work! — that’s where I discovered this piece. I *definitely* don’t get beautiful landscape from this piece — if by ‘beautiful landscape’ you mean a soothing hallmark snap of rolling hills and meadowy spread and such (nothing wrong with nature depicted in its serenity & friendliness mind you). For me, whether I think nature or not, this piece is beautiful in other, much more complex and edgy ways. Glad to have stumbled across your stuff and keep making!

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