Transformer Man

Heikes' uplifting paintings search for the silver lining in social, political turmoil

Jay Heikes (American, born 1975), “Mother Sky,” 2018, oil on canvas, 47 1/8 x 65 1/8 in., Courtesy the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen, © Jay Heikes. Photo credit: Object Studies

The Joslyn Art Museum’s Riley CAP Gallery, dedicated exclusively to living, contemporary artists, is currently exhibiting the work of Jay Heikes.

The Minneapolis-based Heikes is most recognized by his installations and sculptures that combine traditional materials – like paint, plaster, graphite and bronze – with non-traditional materials and found objects. His work is considered both ironic and mysterious, often juxtaposing elements in peculiar and unexpected ways.

According to the show statement, Heikes is fascinated by alchemy—the medieval precursor to modern chemistry—and goes on to state this new work is his “response to the social and political turmoil that is gripping the United States. Rather than directly addressing current events playing out on Earth, however, Heikes has diverted his attention toward the sky.”

Heikes has been exhibiting for almost two decades and has displayed his work in many national and international solo and group venues. Although he is mostly known as a sculptor and installation artist, recently he has turned to painting.

Jay Heikes’ new paintings are on display from June 1 through Sept. 8 at the Joslyn Art Museum. Further information is available at


Category: Art

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