“Coastal Weather Series, No.2”
13.25 x 8 inches
2020
$2,900
“Coastal Weather Series, No.3”
Mixed media collage
14 x 12.75 inches
2020
$2,900
“Coastal Weather Series, No.4”
Mixed media collage
20 x 14 inches
2020
$3,200
"Coastal Weather Series, No.5"
Mixed media collage
28.50 x 11.75 inches
2020
$3,600
"Coastal Weather Series, No.6"
Mixed media collage
25.5 x 13.5 inches
2020
$3,600
“Coastal Weather Series, No.7”
Mixed media collage
27 x 12 inches
$3,600
“Coastal Weather Series, No.8”
Mixed media collage
14 x 12.75 inches
$2,900
“Coastal Weather Series, No.8” (detail)
Mixed media collage
14 x 12.75 inches
$2,900
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Bio Synopsis

Whereas many artists have included collage in their repertoire, Healy has focused on it for his entire career. His primary source of inspiration has been the shoreline; specifically that of  Long Island Sound as well as the island’s side facing the Atlantic Ocean. Here, ever-changing weather continues to evoke particular moods in the artist that inspire his abstract collages. What’s remarkable about his Coastal Weather series is his ability to convince us of atmospheric conditions by arranging a variety of disparate materials, including fragments of oils on canvas and printed fabrics, pieces of watercolors on paper, and even pieces of window screens. He thinks like a musical composer, almost obsessively making changes with these different elements until he is certain his expressions sing. Ultimately, he evokes the spirits of particular places and times that had simply lain dormant in our memories. Such visceral reactions recall what the British art critic Clive Bell described as “significant form” way back in 1913.

As a boy growing up in Brooklyn, Healy’s early primary influences were Matisse, Vermeer, Diebenkorn, Rauschenberg, Hoffman, and the Fauve painters. He earned his MFA from the New York Institute of Technology in 1972 but since 1967 has been exhibiting at museums and galleries throughout the country. He has also served as a curator, beginning in 1979, when he conceived and organized American Vision which was launched at New York University and traveled the country for three years. Later, he served as Director of the National Artists’ Alliance, and as Exhibition Designer for the Yale Center for British Art. Notable among the collectors of his collages are Jack Welch, the legendary former chairman of GE Capital as well as CEOs of other major companies.

Artist’s Statement

Edward Hopper said, “If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.” With that in mind I can only attempt to explain how I make a collage painting. However, understanding and interpreting an image is something I can only hint at. After all, a good painting speaks for itself and no words can adequately explain any work of art. Since we are all different by degrees, perception is likely to differ. Not everyone is going to like everything. As Francis Bacon said, “The job of the artist is to deepen the mystery.” 

Beautiful is something I strive for. I believe beauty leans towards truthfulness. Symmetry is a prerequisite towards achieving something I consider beautiful. Nature overflows with symmetry and all art has some form of symmetry (or asymmetry) that applies not only to the visual arts but also to music and architecture. As in painting, music and architecture are an assembly of forms, colors and textures that make up a composition — which can please. 

Abstract art can be easily explained in musical terms, so the phrase “I don’t get it” as it relates to abstract painting can be explained in a way that is easily understood. For example, if someone says to me; “I can’t understand this painting. What is it? My reply is often; “Do you like music? When you listen to a Chopin Nocturne can you explain why it moves you? Can you tell me in words what the music actually is? What is it?” Often, after being confronted with blank stares, my response is: “Music is simply abstract musical forms, textures, and aural colors (notes and chords) arranged together (composed) with a symmetry that makes the composition beautiful. The only difference between music and painting is that you hear one and see the other. 

Architecture applies to my work in the physical way I make my collage paintings. My compositions are as much built as they are painted. I move forms around in a way that makes them stand as solidly on the picture plane. My collages are heavily layered with ground materials like sandpaper, canvas, and other fabrics that reveal texture and add an element of interest to the composition. The musical analogy and tonality is added through both oil and acrylic pigments, often worked up from cool and warm grays made from the mixture of complimentary colors. Finally, evoking a sense of place in my work is an important communicative element. I paint mostly abstracted New England shoreline scenes. I visit and live in places that are often the subject matter I refer to in my work.       

– Peter Hastings Falk

Read the full backstory about Healy here.