Charline von Heyl at Petzel Gallery
What is most striking about the fourteen new works by the painter Charline von Heyl on view at Petzel Gallery is their gestural energy and boldness. Each large canvas—the artist is fairly consistent in the sizing of her paintings—draws from the roots of abstraction, but with elements that border on figuration. In many, the features of faces can be seen floating among her compositions, such as disembodied eyes, mouths, and cephalic outlines. The knowledge that the artist suffers from prosopagnosia, or face blindness, makes the detached features even more intriguing, drawing viewers into an enigmatic realm occupied by swirling shapes, patterns, and fragmentary imagery. - Nadiah Fellah, NYC Contributor
Charline von Heyl | Installation view, Petzel Gallery
A painter originally from Germany, von Heyl was inspired at a young age by the paintings of Jörg Immendorff, Albert Oehlen, and Martin Kippenberger, drawing from them what she calls an “anarchistic approach to painting.” Artists who pushed the boundaries of the painting medium, von Heyl has continued much in their tradition, playing off of art historical precedents by turning them on their head or radically shifting their meanings.
Charline von Heyl | Carlotta, 2013, Oil, acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 82 x 76 inches
Charline von Heyl | Done Got Old, 2012, Acrylic on canvas, 78.5 x 82 inches
Charline von Heyl | Skull, 2012, Acrylic, oil, charcoal, and dry pigments on canvas, 82 x 74 inches
Charline von Heyl | Slow Tramp, 2012, Oil, acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 82 x 72 inches
Other works are less methodical, bordering on a graffiti aesthetic that falls somewhere closer to the paintings of fellow artist and von Heyl’s husband, Christopher Wool.
Charline von Heyl | Jakealoo, 2012, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 82 x 74 inches
Charline von Heyl | Night Doctor, 2013, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 82.5 x 68 inches
Charline von Heyl | Big Zipper, 2011, acrylic and oil on canvas, 86 x 78 inches
Charline von Heyl (b. 1960) is originally from Bonn, Germany, and lives and works in New York and Marfa, Texas. She has had numerous shows in the US and internationally, including solo shows at The Tate, Liverpool; the ICA, Philadelphia; and the ICA, Boston.
Charline von Heyl’s exhibition at Petzel Gallery in New York is on view through October 5th.
Nadiah Fellah is a graduate student of art history at the CUNY Graduate Center.