People Watching of People Waiting- Andrea Joyce Heimer's Quarantine Drawings
The dwellings of assorted characters fill the borders of each drawing Andrea Joyce Heimer made for her 2020 exhibition The Quarantine Drawings (People Waiting) at Nino Mier Gallery. Each bursts with the kind of color, pattern, furniture, and plants found in many contemporary city apartments. The products of a daily drawing practice during quarantine at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the artist describes the subjects of these works as “…doing very little. They stand, sit, eat, fuck, stare out the window, and listen. They are waiting.”
Heimer’s cast of layabouts do all of these activities, however it’s hard to equate the banality of my own quarantine experience with the almost fantastical scenes Heimer creates. Carpets and record players and wine drinking and games of solitaire all take on a feeling of excitement when rendered in Heimer’s expressive, rambunctious draft(wo)manship. These are the homes I wanted to visit in during that reclusive time, and I wonder if this was also the case for the artist—where drawing was an act of escapism and of being a fly on the wall in domestic scenarios other than one’s own, like the protagonists peering into neighbors’ apartments in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 crime thriller Rear Window.
The artist collaborated with the gallery to publish The Quarantine Drawings, which features fifty of these drawings. They are full bleed facsimiles of the original compositions. Bound together, the works offer viewers the opportunity to (much like a fly, or a city mouse) jump from dwelling to dwelling and piece together multiple narratives of human drama marked by this strange time, as the world faces familiar lockdown rituals with the return of Covid-19 in recent weeks.