New York

Sophie von Hellermann

Greene Naftali Gallery

For a show that took its cues from Albert Einstein, German painter Sophie von Hellermann’s first solo exhibition in New York wore its mantle lightly. Staged on the occasion of the hundred-year anniversary of the watershed formulation of E=mc2, “Goddess in the Doorway” exuded a gravity that, for all its pretense to science, was really more about waking dreams and kinesthetic apparitions than postulated equations. In von Hellermann’s large-scale, candy-color acrylics, figures hover unmoored against unprimed canvas, the paint alternately seeping into the weave of the support and threatening to evaporate from its surface. The medium appears etiolated and just barely contained in coy, casual gestures of pellucid consciousness.

In these new works, confusions of light, time, and space abound, and nothing is what it seems. If Einstein showed matter and energy to be interconvertible, so that a small

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