Charline Von Heyl
September 7, 2011 – February 19, 2012
Exhibition walkthrough with the artist and exhibition curator Jenelle Porter: Wednesday, September 7, 5pm, ICA Members Only
The Institute of Contemporary Art is pleased to present Charline von Heyl, the first museum survey of this compelling and important painter. Von Heyl is a painter whose vibrant, insistent, enigmatic work demonstrates that painting is still intensely relevant in contemporary art. Her paintings are not abstractions of objects or figures; instead, she is interested in creating a "new image that stands for itself as a fact." With their dynamic energy, their contradictions and reversals, and their intentional confusion of foreground and background, these paintings require (and desire) careful looking but refuse to yield to the impulse to name, identify, and define. As the artist says, "It is about the feeling that a painting, or any work of art, can give—when you can't stop looking because there is something that you want to find out, that you want to understand... Good paintings have this tantalizing quality. And once you turn around, you absolutely cannot recapture them. They leave a hole in the mind, a longing."
Tracing the development of von Heyl's work over the last decade, Charline von Heyl consists of 18 paintings exhibited alongside collage-based works on paper. Von Heyl's works on paper combine drawing, painting, woodcut, silkscreen, and lithography, and are defined by a wild overflow of energy. They are sometimes more conventionally legible than the paintings are, their source images less transformed. Von Heyl's drawings are sites of experimentation, extremely process-heavy, and composed through a playful method of trial and error. To chart the important visual relationships between the two mediums, von Heyl first included drawings alongside her paintings in a 2006 solo exhibition, a tactic that revealed that the drawings were a tool to explore not only ways of making but also ways of seeing—for both the artist and the viewer.
Charline von Heyl was born in Germany in 1960 and studied painting with Jörg Immendorff in Hamburg and Fritz Schwegler in Düsseldorf. She has lived in New York since 1996, and her work has been exhibited both in the United States and abroad, including solo museum exhibitions at Le Consortium, Dijon (2009), the Dallas Museum of Art (2005), and the Vienna Secession (2004). Group exhibitions include Oranges and Sardines: Conversations on Abstract Painting at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles (2008), and Make Your Own Life: Artists In and Out of Cologne (2006), which was organized at ICA and then traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami and the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle. Von Heyl's works are in the collections of the Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.
This exhibition is organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania by guest curator Jenelle Porter, Senior Curator, ICA/Boston.
PUBLICATIONThe exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue publication designed in conjunction with the artist. It includes an essay by the curator and features an interview between von Heyl and Kaja Silverman, Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Chair of Contemporary Art, Department of the History of Art, University of Pennsylvania.
TRAVEL VENUESCharline von Heyl premiers at ICA, then travels to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (March 21-July 8, 2012).
ICA acknowledges The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for their generous exhibition support. We are also grateful for the support of Hilarie & Mitchell Morgan and Mari & Peter Shaw. ICA acknowledges the generous sponsorship of Barbara B. & Theodore R. Aronson for the exhibition catalogue. We are grateful for support by endowment gifts from ICA Board Members: The Nancy E. and Leonard M. Amoroso Exhibition Endowment Fund; The Dorothy H. & Martin N. Bandier Endowment Fund; The Reinsberg Exhibition Fund; The Josephine M. & Christopher C. Schlank Fund; The B.Z. & Michael H. Schwartz Fund; and The Bryan & Meredith Verona Fund. This exhibition has also been funded by: The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; The Dietrich Foundation, Inc.; the Overseers Board for the Institute of Contemporary Art; friends and members of ICA; and the University of Pennsylvania. General operating support provided, in part, by the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. ICA receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. We are grateful to Friedrich Petzel and the Friedrich Petzel Gallery for their in-kind support. ICA acknowledges Le Meridien Philadelphia as our official UnLock Art partner hotel.
images: (Top to bottom): Charline von Heyl, Igitur, 2008, acrylic on linen, 82 x 74 inches. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Enid A. Haupt Fund, 2010. Charline von Heyl, Untitled, 2003, photocopy, collage and ink on paper,15 works, each 24 x 19 inches. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection Gift, 2005. Charline von Heyl, It's Vot's Behind Me That I Am (Krazy Kat), 2010, acrylic, oil on linen and canvas, 82 x 72 inches. Private collection, New York; courtesy of Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York.