A survey of paintings by Charline von Heyl will be mounted in Germany in June at the Deichtorhallen Hamburg and then, for what is being billed as the largest American museum survey yet of the German-born, U.S.-based artist, will travel in the fall to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.
After the German incarnation of the show—to run June 22 through September 24—approximately half of the works will head Stateside while the others will go on to show at the Dhondt-Dhaenens museum in Ghent, Belgium. The Hirshhorn exhibition, to open November 1 and continue into February 2019, will focus on the U.S.-based loans from the German exhibition, including some 30 paintings made since 2005.
The arrangement came about after Evelyn Hankins, senior curator at the Hirshhorn, learned of the German show-in-progress during a visit to von Heyl’s part-time home in Texas and endeavored to collaborate. “I went on a studio visit with her in Marfa a year-and-a-half ago interested in organizing a show,” Hankins said. “The Deichtorhallen was already working on a big show, so we ended up partnering.”
The time is ripe for an artist who has had major institutional shows in Europe but not yet the U.S., Hankins said. “I find her work challenging and confounding,” she said.
I’m always drawn to it but find I am constantly surprised. She’s challenging all of our expectations of what painting can be and some of the divisions that surround high art and low art, figuration and abstraction, good taste and kitsch, and visual and literary associations. It’s the complexity and strength of her work that has interested me.”
The exhibitions will be accompanied by a catalogue published in English, German, and Flemish.