Gus Hienze was born in 1926 in Bremen, Germany. After emigrating to the United States, Heinze received a formal arts education at the School of Visual Arts and the Art Students League in New York. After graduating, Hienze became a freelance commercial artist working for Madison Avenue advertising agencies. In 1970, Heinze left commercial illustration to become a fine art painter, primarily depicting dramatically cropped closeups of automobiles. Over time, his subject matter shifted toward storefront windows, doorways, and city scenes. Although the meticulous detail and smooth paint handling give his work a photorealistic quality, the angle and composition in his work make the forms seem somewhat abstract. His work eventually received the moniker of abstract realism. In addition to his industrialized urban subjects, Heinze has also painted dilapidated and decaying industrial equipment in rural environments, exposing the detritus of industrialization.
Hienze’s work has been the subject of recent solo exhibitions at the Bernarducci Meisel Gallery, New York, NY (2016, 2014); Plus One Gallery, London, UK (2010); Mendenhall Gallery, Pasadena (1999); Modernism Inc., San Francisco (2003). His work has also been included in notable group shows such as Hyperrealism 1967-2012; Kunsthalle Tubingen, Tubingen, Germany; Museo Thyssen Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain; Saarland Museum, Germany; The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, England; The Art Museum of Estonia, Tallinn, Estonia; Musee d’Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium; Photorealism Revisited, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, OK; Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH; Mana Contemporary, Jersey City, NJ (2013). His work is represented in the public collection of the Salvadore Dali Organization, Spain; Bank of America World Headquarters, San Francisco; Bergen/Brunswig, Los Angeles; and Kaiser Permanente, Fontana, CA.