Charline von Heyl at Corbett vs. Dempsey

Artist: Charline von Heyl

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Venue: Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago

Exhibition Title: New Paintings

Date: January 15 – February 26, 2021

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Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.


Images courtesy of Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago

Press Release:

Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to present Charline von Heyl, New Paintings. This is the gallery’s third solo show with the artist. A genuinely fearless creative force, Charline von Heyl has emerged as one of the most consistently surprising painters of our time. This exhibition features fifteen fresh paintings all made at her studio refuge in Marfa. Von Heyl began to gather steam on these canvases, ironically, just as the world ground to a halt, and she worked on them alongside the ups and downs of the emergent global pandemic. As always in von Heyl’s oeuvre, each piece carries its own set of working propositions, making for a wildly diverse collection of pictures. There are different stylistic currents, a variety of ways of painting, of constructing a composition, of thinking about an image, of relating object and atmosphere, and of negotiating the concepts of abstraction and representation, but they all come from a single powerful visual intelligence. Commonalities between works exist, of course; there’s a suite of three identically sized, closely linked paintings on raw linen, for instance. Von Heyl’s approach to color is as daring here as ever, a number of the works specifically exploring a yellow palette in multiple modalities. And there is a rich set of lurking topical elements to be uncovered in these works, some deeply submerged, some more immediately recognizable. California’s horrific summer wildfires are referenced in the fleeing hares of “The August Complex,” while powerful small painting “Simplicissimus” takes its title from Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen’s baroque novel based on the atrocities of Germany’s Thirty Years’ War, the main character of which was so simple-minded he didn’t know his own name. Sensitive to the haywire, unbalanced times in which we live, von Heyl has produced an aggregation of paintings that nevertheless continues the undercurrent of joy and play that is a distinctive feature of her work.


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