Charline von Heyl

537 W 22nd Street

March 18 – May 1, 2010

Friedrich Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by Charline von Heyl. This is her sixth solo exhibition at the gallery.


"Often, when we pose our gaze to an art image we have a fortright sensation of paradox. What reaches us immediately and straightaway is marked with trouble, like a self-evidence that is somehow obscure whereas what initially seemed clear and distinct is, we soon realize, the result of a long detour - a mediation, a usage of words. Perfectly banal, in the end, this paradox. We can embrace it, let ourselves be carried away by it, we can even experience a kind of jouissance upon feeling ourselves alternately enslaved and liberated by this braid of knowledge and not-knowledge, of universality and singularity, of things that elicit naming and things that leave us gaping....all this on one and the same surface of a picture or sculpture, where nothing has been hidden, where everything before us has been, simply, presented."

-Georges Didi-Huberman "Confronting Images"


Charline von Heyl has described as a reason to paint the desire to invent an image that has not yet been seen and cannot be named. Her approach towards the canvas is often paradoxical: deep flat space, vivid dead color or static and frozen gestures are combined with opposing speeds.

"The spatial leaps, false starts and abrupt changes of direction or mood in these paintings create a sense of questioning and instability that keeps the viewer alert. Their vibrancy hints at desire, but never satisfaction. (...) The contradictions and reversals that have always characterized von Heyl's work are here, but are sublimated into forms that are now almost absurdly plain to see,
yet still resistant to unambiguous interpretation, swaying from recognizable to the intangible.
The contradictions are there in the sophisticated techniques flipping background to foreground and back again, and which look like they are printed but are hand painted.
The disruption, destruction and anachronism that have always figured in her work are reined in and the paintings become not so much a fight against the elements as an elaborate and entertaining dance with the elements within."

-Kirsty Bell "Its Own Reality"

Charline von Heyl was born in 1960 in Germany and has been living and working in New York since 1994. Her work has been exhibited both in the United States and abroad, including solo exhibitions at Westlondonprojects, London; Le Consortium, Dijon; the Dallas Museum of Art and in the Vienna Secession. Von Heyl's works are in the collections of the Musée 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.

Friedrich Petzel Gallery is located at 535 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011. For further information, please contact the gallery at info@petzel.com, or call (212) 680-9467.

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