Jay Heikes / MATRIX 269

When: Feb. 20-April 29 2018

Much of Jay Heikes’ works featured in his new MATRIX exhibit at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) are influenced by his 2017 residency in Marfa, Texas — an unlikely cultural center for minimalist art nestled in the West Texas desert. Many of his paintings incorporate materials and textures from the desert, from acorn husks to rubber snakes. The Minneapolis-based artist drew inspiration from the intensity of the landscape as well as the town’s proximity to the Mexican border. Heikes was in Marfa during Trump’s inauguration, so the rhetoric of putting up walls and demonizing the Other was fresh in his mind as he worked. His sculptures evoke wire fences unravelling at the seams — his own subversive attempt at tearing down boundaries. In fact, his whole exhibit defies the presence of boundaries. Copper wires jump out of paintings; ink drawings echo the curves of the sculptures; balls composed of strange, hybrid materials branch off of sculptures and drop onto the museum floor.

Madeline Wells

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