Deichtorhallen Hamburg are presenting an exhibition of the groundbreaking work of Charline von Heyl, organized through a partnership between Deichtorhallen Hamburg and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC in cooperation with the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle. The exhibition will focus on her art since 2005, with Deichtorhallen Hamburg displaying approximately 60 of her most striking works while the Hirshhorn Museum and Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens present more focused surveys, each of about 30 large-scale works.
One of today’s most inventive painters, New York-based German artist Charline von Heyl (born in 1960) has received international acclaim for her cerebral, yet deeply visceral artworks that upend conventional assumptions about composition, beauty, narrative, design, and artistic subjectivity. Combining keen humor, a rigorous, process-based practice, and references to a broad array of sources including literature, pop culture, metaphysics and personal histories, von Heyl creates paintings that are neither figurative nor abstract, but instead present in her words »a new image that stands for itself as fact.«
The dice thrown may show two ones: Snake Eyes, the title of the exhibition by Charline von Heyl. Yet the title also conjures up the rhythmic, meandering movement of a snake – a complex structure between abstract and evolved structures and a body silhouette revealing the intriguing use of associations in her work. Each of her pieces seems to be a complex creation between art history and contemporary visual worlds, timeless and yet in every detail an outcome of the present. A feeling of objectivity permeates von Heyl’s work as a kind of subversive text, creating a state of distance in all its lyrical and soulful condition. In this respect, the title of the exhibition indirectly refers to the artist’s eye as a highly specialized tool for observation, steadfast and unyielding, yet also playing with autonomous painting in poetic-satirical self-reflection.
Von Heyl’s intriguing images unfold in an intricate, unpredictable interaction of layers. Highly influential within today’s painting discourse, her works are to be found in some of the most relevant international collections such as the Tate Modern in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.