Valerie Hegarty is a Brooklyn-based artist who makes paintings, sculptures and installations that explore issues of memory, place and history. Starting with a personal inspiration, Hegarty seeks out poetic connections between her personal history, art history and current events. Hegarty relishes the materiality of her process, incorporating a range of materials such as canvas, wood, Foamcore, paper-mache, epoxy and ceramics. Hegarty's large-scale installation work incorporates a process she calls “reverse archeology” in which layers of painted paper are adhered to the walls and floors of the gallery and then scraped back to create a material memory of a space. Hegarty's canvases and sculptures that replicate paintings and antiques from early American art history are presented as ruined by devices associated with their historical significance. Although representational, Hegarty's works contain surprising juxtapositions and uncanny transformations where materials and meanings are constantly shifting.
Valerie Hegarty's solo exhibitions include Malin Gallery, Nicelle Beauchene, NY; Marlborough Gallery Chelsea; Locust Projects, Miami; Museum 52, London; The MCA in Chicago; and Guild & Greyshkul, NY, among others including a commission for a public sculpture on the High Line, NY and a show of site-specific installations in The Brooklyn Museum’s period rooms. Selected group exhibitions in NY include Artists Space, The Drawing Center, D’Amelio Terras Gallery, Derek Eller, White Columns and MoMA PS1. Hegarty has been awarded numerous grants through foundations such as the Pollock Krasner Foundation (2x grantee), The New York Foundation for the Arts (2x grantee), the Rema Hort Mann Foundation, the Tiffany Foundation, and Campari NY. Residencies include LMCC, Marie Walsh Sharpe, PS 122, MacDowell, Yaddo and Smack Mellon. Hegarty received an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a BFA from San Francisco’s Academy of Art College and a BA from Middlebury College, VT. Hegarty was the first Andrew W. Mellon Arts and the Common Good Artist-in-Residence at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey from 2014-2015. Hegarty is represented by Malin Gallery.
Valerie Hegarty is also an emerging writer, her short story "Cats vs. Cancer" was published in 2019 in The New England Review and won a PEN Dau 2020 debut short story prize.