Press Release

Charline von Heyl

Friday 24 February – Sunday 27 May 2012
Tate Liverpool
Supported by the Goethe-Institut London

Tate Liverpool is to present the first major UK exhibition of the New York based artist Charline von Heyl (b 1960).  Von Heyl is at the forefront of a new generation of abstract painters who have acknowledged painting’s contradictions and rejected late modernism’s emphasis on signature style. 

Over forty large canvasses and a number of unique works on paper will be displayed, covering the period 1990-2011.  Taking a broadly chronological approach, the exhibition will demonstrate von Heyl’s eclectic approach to painting.  Often employing unconventional painting methods and actively resisting a single style or vision, she has constantly reinvented the art form.  

Recycling and redeploying of imagery is characteristic of von Heyl’s work.  Her early work displays art historical references, while in her more recent paintings, the reused fragments echo aspects of her own practice. Transformed and mutated: it is never simply pastiche or appropriation. While all her work is created in the studio by hand, her recent work is firmly rooted in the digital age.  Techniques usually associated with digital manipulation, such as masking, layering, distorting, filtering and cloning, are deployed by the artist. 

In 1994 von Heyl moved to New York, and now has three studios in the USA.  Two of her studios, in New York and Marfa, Texas, are dedicated to painting. The third, also in New York, is strictly reserved for works on paper, encompassing drawing and printmaking.  This knowledge of how she separates her work in this way affords us an insight into her practice. The processes operative in her third studio - photocopying, collaging, tearing and juxtaposing for instance - are becoming increasingly central to her paintings.  

Charline von Heyl emerged in the mid 1980s when a tangible sense of optimism and impending change permeated the air. Von Heyl was part of an ever-growing and eclectic social group including Jutta Koether, Cosima von Bonin, Merlin Carpenter, Isabelle Graw, Mayo Thompson, Fareed Armaly, Albert Oehlen and Martin Kippenberger. The group blended their interests and involvement in music, art, gender politics, class, and culture with a pronounced enthusiasm. It was a period markedly different in tone from the increasingly cynical previous generation. 

Von Heyl’s work can be found in the collections of major international institutions including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.  She has had solo exhibitions at Le Consortium, Dijon; the Dallas Museum of Art; and the Vienna Secession.  ICA Philadelphia presented a survey of her work from 7 September 2011 – 19 February 2012, moving to ICA Boston from 21 March – 8 July 2012.  The US surveys trace the development of von Heyl’s work over the last decade, drawing on works in American collections. 

Charline von Heyl is organised in collaboration with Kunsthalle Nuremberg, where the exhibition will be displayed from 11 July – 30 September 2012.  The exhibition is curated by Gavin Delahunty, Head of Exhibitions & Displays, Tate Liverpool and Ellen Seifermann, Director, Kunsthalle Nuremberg.  

See also

Tate Liverpool Exhibition

Charline von Heyl

24 Feb – 27 May 2012
Charline von Heyl at Tate Liverpool, the first major exhibition of the artist’s work in the UK. 2012