Raphael Rubinstein interviews painter Charline von Heyl whose exhibition Charline von Heyl: Snake Eyes will be on view at the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C. from November 8, 2018 through January 27, 2019.
Von Heyl remarks: “At the root of my painting is the line. As an outline, line defines a shape. In repetition, line creates pattern. Sometimes color just comes from filling in between the lines. The way I paint is not coming from a “painterly” way, even though it’s very painterly in the end. It comes from a much more graphic understanding of what can happen on a surface. It’s always the line that leads me to something. When I put color into my paintings, it’s almost always to enhance lines, or to erase lines, or produce effects that turn illustration into a painting. That’s also the reason why the paintings stay flat. I don’t use a vanishing point, and if I use perspective I use reverse perspective where things appear to fall out of the painting. The paintings never look to be more than five inches deep, but they also extend out toward the viewer. They all have the same structure. If you would want to look for a signature style, you could start there.”