The Crown Point Press Viewing Room is an online presentation of prints by a single artist or by a group of artists. It may feature a newly released publication or a view of rare prints from our early history.
Charline von Heyl is the subject of our second Viewing Room. We present ten etchings made in 2014 by the New York-based painter who traveled to work in our San Francisco studio.
Charline von Heyl grew up in Bonn, Germany, and studied at the Dusseldorf Art Academy where many contemporary German painters taught or were students. Jörg Immendorf, Albert Oehlen, and Martin Kippenberger are some of them. Sigmar Polke, Markus Lüpertz, and Georg Baselitz also were part of von Heyl's formative scene. Their “anarchistic approaches to painting really rocked my understanding of what painting can do,” she has said.
Von Heyl generally begins work without sketches or a plan, and relies on intuitive abstract mark-making. Her art reflects a distinctive dissonance. Her paintings are usually filled to the brim with great gestural marks including figurative elements. When looking at her work, you can find that cohesion sorts itself out from the visual cacophony.
Each of the etchings that von Heyl made at Crown Point shares some plates with the others. Referring to her four large works in the Nightpack series she said, "In printing you have pieces of a puzzle and once you get going you just keep putting them together. They all seem like the same image, but they are so different!" Though von Heyl’s prints are abstract, they seem to be portraits, not of particular people but of imagined characters. The mood of each image dramatically changes depending on the colors she’s chosen, and the redundancy of the imagery brings into focus new ideas and narratives.
Watch a 20-minute video of Charline von Heyl in the Crown Point studio.