Mary Heilmann (American, b.1940) is an artist who creates abstract paintings and ceramics, and produces furniture. She was born in San Francisco, CA, and received her education from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she obtained a BA in 1962. She also attended the University of California at Berkeley, and received her MA in 1967. In 1968, Heilmann moved to New York.

The artist began her career as a sculptor and then started to create paintings in the 1970s. She frequently installs her artwork on top of chairs and alongside benches that she makes herself. Heilmann often receives inspiration from the bright hues and colors of the images seen on the television cartoon series The Simpsons. Although she is in her eighth decade, her work is often featured in exhibitions that include the work of artists under the age of 40. Heilmann’s use of bright colors and youthful concepts may have something to do with the age group of artists with which she is often featured. At one point in her career, she was an instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York, NY. Some of Heilmann’s more recent paintings include Ghost Palette (2008), Broken Study (2005), Two-Lane Blacktop (2008), and Surf Study (2008). Some of her furniture work includes Club Chair 29 (2005), Club Chair 28 (2005), and Club Chair 19 (2004).

Heilmann’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions all over the world. She has exhibited at the Pat Hearn Gallery in New York, Hauser and Wirth in Zurich, the Crown Point Press in San Francisco, the Galerie Meyer Kainer in Vienna, and the Camden Arts Centre in London, among many other places. In 2006, Heilmann won the Anonymous Was a Woman Foundation Award, and was also awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. Heilmann currently lives and works in New York.


Born in San Francisco, CA
BA, literature, University of California at Santa Barbara
Studied poetry and ceramics at San Francisco State University
MA, ceramics and sculpture, University of California at Berkeley,
BACA Award, Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht, THE Netherlands
Lives and works in New York City and Bridgehampton, ny


Another Green World, Häusler Contemporary, Munich, Germany (solo)
Mary Heilmann, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany (solo)
Good Vibrations, Neues Museum, Nürnberg, Germany (solo)
Visions, Waves and Roads, Hauser & Wirth, London, England (solo)
Good Vibrations & BACA Projects, Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Mary Heilmann: Weather Report, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany (solo)
Ambigu - Zeitgenössische Malerei zwischen Abstraktion und Narration, Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland (solo)
Two-Lane Blacktop, 303 Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
To Be Someone, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, USA (solo)
High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting 1967–1975, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe, Germany
WACK!: Art and the Feminist Revolution, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, USA
To Be Someone, Orange County Museum, Newport Beach, USA (solo)
Mary Heilmann, 303 Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
Loveparade 1, Häusler Contemporary, Munich, Germany
POPulence, Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston, Houston, USA
The Shape of Colour: Excursions in Colour Field Art, 1950-2005, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
Extreme Abstraction, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, USA
Post-Modern, Greene Naftali Gallery, New York, USA
The Painted World, MoMA PS1, Long Island City, USA
Galerie m Bochum, Grenzüberschreitung, Bochum, Germany
Mary Heilmann, Jill Moser, Stanley Whitney, Hampden Gallery at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, USA
North Fork/South Fork: East End Art Now, The Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, USA
Mary Heilmann, Hauser & Wirth, London, England (solo)
Mary Heilmann. All Tomorrow’s Parties, Secession, Vienna, Austria (solo)
Mary Heilmann. The Architecture of Heaven, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland (solo)
ON, Galerie Renos Xippas, Athens, Greece
There’s no land but the land (up there is just a sea of possibilities), Meyer Riegger Galerie, Karlsruhe, Germany
Ten Years Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zurich, Switzerland
Farbe!, Häusler Contemporary, Munich, Germany
Art Downtown: New York Painting and Sculpture, 48 Wall Street, New York, USA
Objects of Desire, Jan Abrams Fine Arts, New York, USA
House of Fiction. Sammlung (3), Sammlung Hauser und Wirth, St. Gallen, Switzerland
Mary Heilmann, American Fine Arts, New York, USA (solo)
Mary Heilmann Home, Kenny Schachter Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
Mary Heilmann, Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
Mary Heilmann, Galerie Meyer Kainer, Vienna, Austria (solo)
Mary Heilmann, Camden Arts Centre, London, England (solo)
Mary Heilmann - Joanne Greenbaum, Greengrassi Gallery, London, England
Shadow Dancing: 1975-79, D'Amelio Terras, New York, USA
Künstlerräume/Sammlerräume, Kunstverein St.Gallen Kunstmuseum, St.Gallen, Switzerland
Part Two (1988-1994), Pat Hearn Gallery, New York, USA
Liquid Properties, Cheim & Read, New York, USA
The Artist as Curator: Helmut Federle, Georgia O'Keefe, Myron Stout, Marcia Hafif, Mary Heilmann, Haken Rehenberg, Robert Mangold, Blinky Palermo, and Howard Hodgkin, Galerie Nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Vienna, Austria
Jessica Stockholder – Mary Heilmann (Gemälde aus der Sammlung Hauser und Wirth), Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland
Das Gedächtnis der Malerei, Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland
Mary Heilmann. Malerei‘, Oldenburger Kunstverein, Oldenburg, Germany (solo)
Mary Heilmann, Galleria Marabini, Bologna, Italy (solo)
Mary Heilmann – Jessica Stockholder, Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland (solo)
Mary Heilmann, Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
Cosmogram, Galleria Marabini, Bologna, Italy
Small Paintings, Cheim & Read, New York, USA
Pat Hearn Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
Selected Works, 1978-1998, Johnson County Community‚ Overland Park, USA (solo)