February 24, 2012 - Tate Liverpool - Charline von Heyl: Now or Else
February 24, 2012

Charline von Heyl: Now or Else

Charline Von Heyl, “Woman #2,” 2009.*

Charline von Heyl
Now or Else

24 February–27 May 2012

Tate Liverpool
Albert Dock
Liverpool L3 4BB
Open everyday

0151 702 7400


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Tate Liverpool is to present the first major UK exhibition of the New York based artist Charline von Heyl (b 1960). Developed in close collaboration with the artist, the exhibition includes over forty paintings and thirty-six works on paper in a period spanning from 1990 to the present.

Charline von Heyl emerged in the mid-1980s when a tangible sense of optimism and impending change permeated the air. In the latter half of the twentieth century, painting had acquired a beleaguered status with accusations of its irrelevance in the face of conceptual art, photography and the moving image. But von Heyl has shrugged off such dilemmas, resulting in an unapologetic twenty-five-year-long pursuit of an idiosyncratic yet self-conscious brand of abstraction. While her paintings pose many questions, they never doubt the relevance of painting as a medium.

Von Heyl studied at the Art Academy in Hamburg from 1982–84, one year of which was with the politically provocative painter Jörg Immendorf. While continuing her studies in Düsseldorf under the sculptor and painter Fritz Schwegler, she also worked as studio assistant to Immendorf, an informal apprenticeship that lasted several years and was at least as influential to her practice as her experiences within the Academy. Following her studies, she moved to Cologne, arriving when the neo-expressionistic painting of Martin Kippenberger and Albert Oehlen was still dominant. The energy and anti-authoritarianism of this moment was a source of power and inspiration for von Heyl, but the increasingly ironic and cynical attitudes of the Cologne group became oppressive and in 1996 she left for New York, where she has lived and worked ever since.

Since 2000, in parallel to her painting practice, Charline von Heyl has produced a series of hybrid works on paper. Combining woodcut, silkscreen, lithography and Xerox copies, often arranged in gridded formations. The relationship between von Heyl’s paintings and her works on paper is somewhat unconventional in that the processes are always kept separate. Although these works never exist in a preparatory relationship to specific paintings, their production has indirectly transformed von Heyl’s painting practice.

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: Now or Else 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.

For further information please contact Tate Liverpool Press Office: rachel.gutteridge@tate.org.uk or ami.guest@tate.org.uk, 0151 702 7444/5.

With thanks to Tate Liverpool Members. Supported by The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany; the American Patrons of Tate courtesy of The Brown Foundation, inc., of Houston and Christopher Hamick; Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne; Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York; and The Goethe-Insitut London.

*Image above:
© Charline Von Heyl. 
Image courtesy Friedrich Petzel, New York. 
Photo: Larry Lamay.

Tate Liverpool presents Charline von Heyl: Now or Else
Tate Liverpool
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