Sebastian Smee reports on the Boston Globe‘s culture blog that Charline von Heyl’s mural at the Worcester Art Museum opens to the public on November 19. “Worcester Art Museum’s Renaissance Court is one of the most impressive and beautiful gallery spaces in New England, with its marvelous Roman floor mosaic, its high ceilings, and its stately twin staircases. WAM also commissions art works from contemporary artists to fill one long wall in the court, which shakes things up a bit. The latest has been commissioned from Charline von Heyl, a German artist who is sometimes a resident of Marfa, Texas.”
According to the museum’s press release, von Heyl’s project “pays homage to Ellsworth Kelly’s Orange White, a 1961 abstract canvas in the Museum’s collection that explores the relationship between clarity of form, ambivalence between figure and ground, and resistance to interpretation. Von Heyl, who described her drive towards abstraction as the desire to invent something that has not yet been seen, often borrows gestures and techniques from painters preceding her then proceeds to bury them in a vigorous process of destruction and creation. Her paintings are characterized by a sense of conflict between defined and indeterminate forms, sometimes jarring use of color, and various strategies of paint application�all within a single work. Adopting formal aspects of the Kelly and adapting her studio practice�an abstraction created by overload, blotting out, and superimposition�to mural scale and an architectural setting, the intrepid von Heyl plans an ambitious new project resulting in several kinds of pictorial experiences co-existing.”
Other artists who have been invited to paint the wall include Arturo Herrara, Sophie Tottie, Annette Lemieux, Denise Marika, Julian Opie, Jim Hodges, Alexander Ross, and the collaborative THINK AGAIN.
“Wall at WAM: Charline von Heyl,” organized by Susan L. Stoops. Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA.Opens November 19 and stays up for quite a while.