Heiner Contemporary closes Georgetown gallery

January 21

The art gallery Heiner Contemporary, which opened in Georgetown's tony Book Hill neighborhood in the summer of 2011, closed on Jan. 4. Its last show was  "Curio," a group exhibition featuring six artists whose work shares a fascination with the oddities of nature.

Avery Lawrence's "Moving a Tree" appeared at Heiner Contemporary in 2012. (Heiner Contemporary)
Avery Lawrence's "Moving a Tree" appeared at Heiner Contemporary in 2012. (Heiner Contemporary)

As directed by namesake Margaret Heiner, the gallery's programming leaned heavily toward painting, but also featured such adventurous young artists as Avery Lawrence, whose work includes sculpture, video, photography and performance. For its small size, Heiner was one of the city's most consistently exciting spaces.

The move will reunite Heiner with her husband, art historian Oliver Tostmann, who was named curator of the collection at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 2011, and who had been commuting between Boston and Washington since then. This fall, Tostmann took on a new assignment — Susan Morse Hilles Curator of European Art — at the Wadsworth Atheneum. Heiner and Tostmann have a young daughter.

Though now based in Connecticut, the Heiner Contemporary brand will carry on, mainly though participation in art fairs and art consulting, and by sponsoring pop-up exhibitions.

Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Michael O’Sullivan has worked since 1993 at The Washington Post, where he covers art, film and other forms of popular — and unpopular — culture.
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