SOPHIE VON HELLERMANN; GREENE NAFTALI GALLERY
Greene Naftali Gallery is pleased to present the first New York solo exhibition of the German painter Sophie von Hellermann known for her large-scale, romantic, pastel-washed canvases often installed to suggest complex narrative threads. With a cast ranging from Marcel Duchamp to Mick Jagger, previous shows have focused on such diverse themes as the death of Nico, the life of Anastasia, and a retelling of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. For this exhibition von Hellermann has taken the 100th anniversary of Einstein's scientific breakthrough E=mc2 as occasion to tackle the conflation of art and science with her characteristic irony and wit. Wryly mixing the languages of physics and painting, von Hellermann addresses the concerns of time, light, and space in broad-brushed washes of acrylic color that look as if they have floated right out of her thoughts.
In contrast to many contemporary figurative painters, von Hellermann has chosen to paint from imagination rather than photographs. Translating mental images into paint with an almost automatist spontaneity, she explores the invented space of the unconscious rather than the perspectival space of photography. The paintings seem almost to float away from their physical support, a weightless effect achieved by von Hellermann's unique application of pure pigment to unprimed canvas. Von Hellermann says, "what interests me is how the mind works and how dream images come together from things you've seen, read, and experienced both years ago and yesterday."
SOPHIE VON HELLERMANN; VILMA GOLD
Vilma Gold is pleased to present, On the Ground, by Sophie von Hellermann, the inaugural exhibition at new premises on Vyner Street, London E2. Staged prior to the gallery's formal renovation, On the Ground weaves new paintings into the existing fabric of the semi-derelict building.
On the Ground takes the form of contemporary iconostases based on the events leading up to the death of the cult figure Nico. In a series of part-fictional and part-factual scenes Nico isdepicted alongside Andy Warhol, members of the Factory scene and finally her son Ari. Hellermann's paintings are loosely based on an outline of the final period in Nico's life where she fled Manchester for Ibiza. In Manchester she had lost another battle against her ongoing drug addiction and sought solaceon the holiday island and a close relationship with Ari, the child she had given up at birth. She died on the island in 1988, a brain Hemorrhage, road accident and drug overdose have all, over the years, been mooted as the possible cause. Her death remains shrouded in mystery.