Born in Peoria, Illinois Julie Heffernan received her BFA in Painting and Printmaking from the University of California, Santa Cruz and her Masters of Fine Art in Painting from the Yale School of Art. Her lush paintings are manifestations of Heffernan’s Baroque sensibilities and rich knowledge of art history—the interior spaces of her compositions often refer to grand ballrooms and ornate drawing rooms, while the exteriors are placed within abundant forests and imagined worlds. Something of a contemporary surrealist, her compositions are drawn from the peculiar, nonsensical narratives of her dreams. As a result of drawing so directly from the images of her subconscious, Heffernan considers much of her work as a kind of self-portrait and titles them as such.
Predominantly featured in countless New York galleries since 1985, Heffernan has recently been featured in solo exhibitions at Catherine Clark Gallery featuring Boy, O Boy in 2010, and Boy, O Boy II, in 2011, as well as Broken Homes at the Megumi Ogita Gallery in Tokyo, Japan in 2011. A traveling retrospective of her work, accompanied by the eponymous catalogue titled Everything that Rises, was organized by the University Art Museum, University of Albany, New York in 2006. In 2013, Heffernan will had a solo exhibition at the Palo Alto Art Center, which traveled to the Crocker Art Museum later in the year. Heffernan has been featured in yearly group exhibitions around the country, and her work has garnered critical attention in numerous publications including Artforum, Art in America, Artnews, and The New York Times. Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, she now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She has been represented by Catharine Clark Gallery since 2005.