fbpx Biennale Arte 2022 | Charline von Heyl
La Biennale di Venezia

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Charline von Heyl

1960, Germany

  • TUE - SUN
    23/04 > 25/09
    11 AM - 7 PM

    27/09 > 27/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Central Pavilion
  • Admission with ticket

Working in the vibrant Cologne art world of the 1980s only led painter Charline von Heyl to more firmly believe in the importance of her chosen medium: painting. The eight works on view here – produced in collaboration with Jeffrianne Young and cellist Matt Haimovitz’s The Primavera Project, a series of musical commissions by a diverse group of composers – reference the Greek myth of Zephyrus, god of the west wind, and the nymph Chloris, whose marriage with Zephyrus grants her dominion over the spring; a story famously repurposed in the 1480s Sandro Botticelli’s painting Primavera. Reinterpreting Botticelli’s work, these paintings combine themes of girlhood, transformation, desire, and ambivalence. Rendering mask-like faces, graphic red dots, patterned stripes, and layers of cartoonish leaping rabbits and birds against smears of charcoal and flat washes of black acrylic paint, in Primavera 2020 (2020), the harmonious natural world of Botticelli’s original is fractured, its botanical splendour tempered by psychic upheaval. The August Complex (2020), for example, draws an intuitive connection between Flora, the name Chloris takes after her transformation, and the flora and fauna destroyed by the the devastating 2020 wildfire in Northern California. Engaging the medium’s tropes of beauty and subjectivity, von Heyl consistently redefines the boundaries of contemporary painting.

Ian Wallace

Central Pavilion
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Biennale Arte
Biennale Arte