Details:

This painting was inspired by a pond the artist saw after a flood. The pond was split down the middle by a fallen tree, making it unclear if it was really one or two bodies of water; this experience reminded the artist of her sister and herself.
Unframed
Signed

① Artwork:

The Two Sisters

The artist painted this composition after a rainy springtime in Minnesota when there was so much water that the rivers flooded—resulting in temporary reflective ponds forming in the woods. The artist saw one pond split down the middle by a fallen tree, making it unclear if it was really one or two bodies of water; this experience reminded the artist of her sister and herself.

The artist’s work explores the relationship between the land and humankind, playing on viewers' natural inclination to see themselves in nature. This way of seeing is against the Western conception of the land as separate from humanity which is charged with dominion over it. Seeing aspects of ourselves in nature, Heymans hopes, can help remind us of the personal, meaningful and mystical connection we have with the land we inhabit. Rather than distinct and separate from us, it should feel as close to us as our own bodies.

About the influence of her childhood on her work, Heymans says: "Growing up, my sister and I spent most of our time outside. We explored every inch of our family farm, playing and imagining what took place on the land before we lived there. Were there any bloody battles? Did a mammoth ever sleep there, did a forest ever grow? I’d wonder how many stories were embedded into the land. How many people had loved it?

"Does [the land] hold something of us, a piece of us? ... [A]nd even more so, does it still feel any connection to us? Does a river carry within it any semblance of a man? Can a pond rest with the countenance of a sleeping girl? Do the rocks of the badlands hold a memory of the violence committed there? These paintings are not an attempt to personify the land, they are more of an exorcism."

Specs:

30 inches
24 inches

③ Artist:

Sophia Heymans

Sophia Heymans’ landscape paintings explore the relationship between the land and humankind, playing on viewers' natural inclination to see themselves in nature. The artist embeds natural materials directly onto her canvases to achieve an archival-like quality—employing a non-dominant perspective that directly confronts the lexicon of historical American landscape artworks. Heymans' paintings explore her childhood memories of playing outdoors with her sister, evoking the meaningful and mystical connections that can be forged with the lands we inhabit and the stories embedded there.

Sophia Heymans:
The Two Sisters, 2022
Paper mâché, molding paste, prairie grass seeds, mop strings, moss, oil on canvas
24.0 × 30.0 inches /