New York

Charline von Heyl, The Language of the Underworld, 2017, acrylic and charcoal on linen, 90 × 108".

Charline von Heyl

Petzel Gallery | West 18th Street

Many of Charline von Heyl’s paintings crackle with an awkward intensity. Though her works occasionally lapse into relatively uncomplicated decor, the lion’s share of her oeuvre, a thirteen-year sampling of which was recently on display at the Deichtorhallen Hamburg (with condensed versions traveling to museums in Deurle, Belgium, and Washington, DC), is marked by the deliberate upending of formal expectation. Indeed, in attempting to describe the New York– and Marfa, Texas–based German artist’s modus operandi, the writer, musician, and gallerist John Corbett cites—in a catalogue essay for said survey show—von Heyl’s use of the term Haken schlagen, which refers to a rabbit’s practice of feinting a move, then dashing in another direction to evade predation. It is testament, then, to the artist’s facility for composition and mark making (she uses the entire toolbox) that her work

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