Art In America

Charline von Heyl

at Petzel,
456 W 18th St

Fourteen commanding large paintings, mostly abstractions, make up Charline von Heyl's seventh solo at Petzel. While very much of this moment in abstract painting, they deliberately call back to painters of a century ago, like Kandinsky (in Done Got Old) and Klee (Miserabilism #1). And they break from abstraction, with a face peering out of Carlotta and a relatively straight-up still life in Vase with Flowers. Those are clear enough, but what's a Pancalist, as goes the title of a painting showing a bold, semi-figurative shape, like a long-necked figure with a bright-white face? And where is the foreground and where the background in Slow Tramp, which seems to violate pictorial convention with a heavy, ground-like zone at the canvas's top? These bright, graphically varied paintings keep asking questions.



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