-Princeton University Art Museum has an exhibit, Nature's Nation, featuring work by Valerie Hegarty, October 13 2018 - January 6, 2019.

The exhibit is set to travel to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA (February 2 - May 5, 2019), then to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR (May 25 - September 9, 2019).

-This fall, Valerie will be included in Black Mirror at the Saatchi Gallery in London.

- American Berserk travelled to San Francisco and inaugurateed Burning in Water's second location. Show is up from April 24 - July 18, 2018.

-Featured in Nomadic Murals, at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, Florida. Exhibition runs April 21 - October 21, 2018

- Mother Gallery in Beacon, NY hosted a group show, The Cruellest Month, with work by Valerie. April 14 - June 30, 2018.

-The Hole gallery in New York City included two works by Valerie in their well-received ceramics show Clay Today. Exhibit was up April 10 - June 6, 2018. 

-Dorsky Gallery in Long Island City, NY, hosted Molding/Mark Making, including new work by Valerie Hegarty. January 21 - March 25, 2018. 

-Valerie Hegarty's work featured in Sabbath: The 2017 Dorothy Saxe Invitational at San Francisco's Contemporary Jewish Museum

American Berserk is restaged at University of Michigan's Institute for the Humanities. Show is up from November 2 - December 20, 2017. 

"American Berserk" is an exhibition featuring the work of New York-based artist Valerie Hegarty. The show runs November 2 - December 20, 2017 at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities gallery at 202 S. Thayer, Ann Arbor, MI.


- Valerie Hegarty has been awarded a 2017 Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).

- The group exhibition Morph at Aysa Geisberg Gallery in New York features recent work by Valerie Hegarty - on view June 22 through August 11, 2017. 

- Valerie Hegarty's installation at the Brooklyn Museum is featured in the Spring 2017 issue of American Art“Alternative Histories: Three Activations in the Brooklyn Museum’s Early American Period Rooms.”

- The Portland Museum of Art has acquired Valerie Hegarty's Warped Clipper Ship (2016), which is on long-term exhibition.


Valerie Hegarty, Clipper Ship Shell, 2016, glazed ceramics.


Press Release


October 6, 2016 - January 21, 2017


Burning in Water is pleased to present American Berserk, a solo exhibition of new work by the Brooklyn-based artist Valerie Hegarty. American Berserk is Hegarty’s first solo exhibition in New York City since her acclaimed Alternative Histories at the Brooklyn Museum in 2013. 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, 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.

The title of the current exhibition is borrowed from Philip Roth’s Pulitizer-winning novel American Pastoral, in which Roth defines the inverse of the American pastoral ideal as the “indigenous American Berserk.” The show features a series of recent watercolor paintings and four groups of ceramic sculptures. The suite of watercolors suggests a fevered, hallucinatory vision of America examined through the prism of its visual artistic traditions. Hegarty’s anarchic, revisionist take on American history as manifested in the nation’s artistic legacy is further embodied in her fantastical ceramic works. The sculptures, which seem imported from a parallel universe, include watermelons that become animated, explode and then decay, sly depictions of George Washington as a series of topiaries, spectral clipper ships erected from bones and an assortment of “fruit face” personae that survey the surreal proceedings.



Valerie Hegarty, George Washington with Branches, 2016, wood, canvas, paper-mache, wire and acrylic paint (Installation view - INTERVENTIONS 3, 2016).






SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Optimism is opening an art gallery, and its name is Burning in Water

-Charles Desmarais

Founder Barry T. Malin and San Francisco Director Anna Hygelund launched their new outlet at Minnesota Street Project (1275 Minnesota St., S.F. this week with a seductively downbeat exhibition by Brooklyn artist Valerie Hegarty. “American Berserk,” which will run through July 18, might be called Bukowskian in its dark humor, though the works have a decidedly surrealist bent.

Hegarty has built a regional (that is, New York) reputation with over-the-top sculptural objects that look like 19th century American paintings come to life. Birds fly, trees branch off the canvas surface and into the gallery; pictured forest fires burn their frames to ash.

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Charles Desmarais' art picks for May 13

-Charles Desmarais

The West Coast outlet of a young New York gallery debuts with this engaging exhibition. Hegarty’s ceramic sculpture displays a loopy humor, often with reference to American history. Strange watermelon slices morph into gruesome smiles, suggesting the diseased association of the fruit with race and slavery. A sailing ship seems made of finger bones, the skeletal remains of a history of conquest. Through July 18.

NEW YORK TIMES: What to See in New York Art Galleries this Week

-Jillian Steinhauer

Contemporary art has been experiencing a ceramics renaissance for several years now, though its full breadth remains underexplored by galleries and museums. “Clay Today,” a new exhibition at the Hole, provides a welcome, if not rigorous, introduction to the utterly creative and clever ways that artists are using this material.

The most compelling of such works hang on the wall: Valerie Hegarty, Thomas Mailaender and Jesse Edwards have turned ceramics into imitations of paintings, photographs and TV sets, with the objects getting flatter as the illusionistic space deepens.

ARTFORUM:  Critics' Pick 

-Heidi Harrington-Johnson      

Rotting, wounded, smiling--watermelons in Valerie Hegarty's latest exhibition of paintings and sculptures--are depicted as sentient objects: carnal, threatening. Several wedges of the fruit, done in ceramics, rest on a plinth, their pink flesh resembling gums and growing teeth, tongues, ribs, stalagmites, barnacles.



ARTnews:   Americana Gone a Bit Weird - Valerie Hegarty on Her New Ceramic Still Lifes

-Robin Scher    

I am always interested in talking about transformation," Hegarty said one recent afternoon in her studio in midtown Manhattan, surrounded by a sinister set of anthropomorphic fruits-- tooth-filled watermelons rinds, spinal carrot carcasses and some Arcimboldo-style faces. The pieces are a morbid answer to kitschy centerpieces of yesteryear, now robbed of their evergreen freshness.



Hyperallergic:   Ceramics Stage a Coup at NADA Miami Beach

-Benjamin Sutton      

[Art Basel Miami] features works by several artists working in the same vein...that is, making figurative ceramic work that plays with scale and tone, or that uses the handcrafted medium to imbue typically inanimate objects with inner life. [A] shining example of this approach are the playful food sculptures by Valerie Hegarty that are on view in Miami gallery Locust Projects' booth.



cfile:   American Berserk

-Bill Rodgers    

[Hegarty's] work is topical, as it is informed by the 'current turbulent state of our country while also excavating from America's past.' What we're seeing here couldn't be described as decay, as such, but her work seems to have a theme of the gooey-ness of information, of shared knowledge. We live in a post-fact society and consensus validation is gospel. That, of course, leads to strange distortions of the truth--things that resemble fact, but are wholly alien to reality.



VICE: Nature Devours Art in a Series of Eco Sculptures

-Andrew Nunes    

The centerpiece of the exhibition is a sculpture by artist Valerie Hegarty, Return to the Catskills. An amalgamation of canvas, paint and moss, the piece is nature-art hybridity depicting a moss-covered tree (and a small woodpecker) devouring a painting. Malin says that the piece "directly attacks the idea of the landscape that exists outside the ravages of time and the impact of society."





Valerie Hegarty (b. 1967, Burlington, VT) is a Brooklyn-based artist whose work frequently employs critical engagement with American History and addresses themes of memory, place and art historical legacy through painting, sculpture and large-scale installations. Previous solo exhibitions include Nicelle Beauchene, NY; Marlborough Gallery, NY; Locust Projects, Miami; Museum 52, London; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and Guild & Greyshkul, NY. She has completed public commissions for the High Line in NYC and the Brooklyn Museum. Hegarty's work is included in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Perez Art Museum Miami, the Saatchi Gallery, the New Britain Museum of American Art, the Portland Museum of Art, the Tang Museum and the Wadsworth Atheneum.

Hegarty received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has received grants and awards from the Pollock Krasner Foundation, The New York Foundation for the Arts, the Rema Hort Mann Foundation, the Tiffany Foundation and Campari NY. She has completed residences at LMCC, Marie Walsh Sharpe, PS 122, MacDowell, Yaddo, and Smack Mellon, and she served as the first Andrew W. Mellon Arts and the Common Good Artist-in-Residence at Drew University.





Curriculum Vitae

Valerie Hegarty, Ghost of History, 2016, stretcher, canvas, paper-mache, acrylic paint, foamcore and molding.