My paintings give evidence of my passionate approach to finding visual correlates to strongly felt experience. My painterly textures are intensely visceral and the compositions are dynamic. Yet I aim for a rhythmic flow, an equilibrium between tumult and composure.
The act of painting is a sensual experience for me, and often produces surfaces that prominently display the actions of my hand. Procedures with brushes and palette knives include thick and thin strokes, layering hues and scraping some away to reveal underlying color. My method includes both drawing upon spontaneous intuition and deliberate reworking. These paintings come out of sensations felt through my body. I make them in a mid-size scale commensurate with that of the scale of the human body-my own and that of a viewer encountering them. These new compositions incorporate space more distinctly as a counterpoint to my engaged gesturalism. It serves a function akin to that of rests between chords.
Beyond the painterly voluptuousness of a composition, I want my abstractions to capture a feeling. They reflect my desire to discover and communicate both visual and life experience. I strive to convey a direct and pure response in a work that is at once stimulating and contemplative.
Sheila Hecht has always been an abstract painter. From the time she created her first painting, her natural response has been to convey the underlying feelings associated with objects rather than to picture them realistically.
Born and raised in New York City, Hecht knew she was an artist from an early age. Her creative process began in childhood, developed in high school, and matured at Queens College where she studied with John Ferren and Louis Finkelstein and earned a B.A. in Fine Arts as well as a Master’s Degree.
Throughout her career as a visual artist, Hecht has had an uncompromising commitment to explore and develop her own unique creative process. Over the years, her paintings have evolved from tighter, denser compositions to freer, more expanded works.
During the past decade, Hecht’s abstract paintings and mixed-media constructions have been exhibited with increasing frequency in commercial galleries, museums, and non-profit and corporate spaces. Recent solo shows have included the Galeria Nacional Museum in Costa Rica and The Berkeley Gallery, Berkeley College, NYC. And, in May, 2012 she had her sixth solo exhibition entitled “Split Second Decisions” at the well-respected Chelsea Noho Gallery. Hecht has also participated in a number of group shows at the Hammond Museum; Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY; Masur Museum of Art in Monroe, Louisiana; the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn, NY; the Art Students League in NYC and also at Iona College. The artist’s studio is in Long Island City, New York.