Charline von Heyl
March 21 - July 15, 2012
This March, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) opens the first U.S. museum survey of Charline von Heyl, a compelling and important artist whose work offers new ideas and possibilities for painting, and demonstrates the medium’s continued relevance in contemporary art. Von Heyl’s canvases are not abstractions of objects or figures; instead, she is interested in inventing a new image that has not yet been seen and that “stands for itself as a fact.” With their intentional confusion of foreground and background, their dynamic energy, and their contradictions and reversals, these paintings require (and desire) careful looking, but refuse to yield to the impulse to name, identify, or define. Organized by ICA Senior Curator Jenelle Porter, Charline von Heyl includes 12 paintings and two sets of collage-based works on paper tracing the development of von Heyl’s work over the past five years. The exhibition is on view at the ICA from March 21 through July 15, 2012.
Von Heyl describes the sensation she seeks to create in her work: “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.”