W.S. Heppenheimer was the Top Honors recipient of the Guild Hall Museum 76th Annual Artist Members Exhibition in 2014, an award selected by Robert Storr, Dean of the Yale School of Art. Mesmerizingly kaleidoscopic, Heppenheimer’s work plays with our notions of abstraction and representation. Faces, figures, and anthropomorphic creatures appear, questioning perception versus intention.
Heppenheimer’s process is unlike any other. He pours acrylic paint into ice trays and swirls it to achieve various marbleized effects. Once dried, he cuts small cross sections which he can then arrange into geometric forms and totems.
Heppenheimer was born in New York City in 1954 and lived in Paris and London before returning to NYC to attend school and, later, art school at Colorado College, Pratt and University of Florida. He spent summers on the East End with his family before becoming a year-round resident. As an art student, he always had an affinity for the properties of color—he liked Op Art, Victor Vasarely, Bridget Riley—and started out making Hard-edge paintings. Over time, experimenting with painting and sculpture, at times merging the two, his style took shape. Heppenheimer exhibited with the Bologna-Landi Gallery in the old East Hampton railroad station on Route 114 and at the Elaine Benson Gallery in the 80s and early 90s. He first submitted to the Guild Hall Artist Members Exhibition in 2009 and won Best Sculpture. This is his first solo museum exhibition.