Burning in Water - San Francisco is pleased to present American Berserk, a solo exhibition of new work by the Brooklyn-based artist Valerie Hegarty. The show features a suite of watercolor paintings and four series of ceramic sculptures. American Berserk is the inaugural exhibition of Burning in Water’s new gallery space in San Francisco.
Throughout her career, Valerie Hegarty has explored fundamental themes of American history and particularly the legacy of 19th-century American art, addressing topics such as colonization, slavery, Manifest Destiny, historical revisionism, nationalism and environmental degradation in her work. Elaborating upon visual references to the art-historical canon of North America, Hegarty repurposes the ideological tenets of such works into a critical examination of the American legacy—artistic and otherwise. Cloaked within allusions to American classicism and evocations of the decorative and ornamental traditions, Hegarty’s work consistently interrogates the darker ramifications of the American Experiment, ranging from the environmental impact of expansionism to the conflicted and repressed dimensions of collective memory.