Sophie von Hellermann's paintings recall the look of fables, legends, and traditional stories that are imbued with the workings of her subconscious rather than the content of existing images. Her romantic, pastel-washed canvases are often installed to suggest complex narrative threads. Von Hellermann applies pure pigment directly onto unprimed canvas, her use of broad-brushed washes imbues a sense of weightlessness to her pictures. Von Hellermann's paintings draw upon current affairs as often and as fluidly as they borrow from the imagery of classical mythology and literature to create expansive imaginary places. In subject matter and style, von Hellermann tests imagination against reality.Read More
Sophie von Hellermann was born in 1975 in Munich, Germany. Von Hellermann received her BFA from Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf and an MFA from Royal College of Art, London. Selected solo exhibitions include: Sophie von Hellermann, Office Baroque, Brussels (2017); After a Fashion– A Play with Fire, Vilma Gold, London (2015); Novel Ways, Greene Naftali, New York (2013); Elephant in the Room, Firstsite, Colchester (2013); Crying for The Sunset, Vilma Gold, London (2011); Sophie von Hellermann & Josh Smith, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium, Le Consortium, Dijon, France (2010); Judgement Day, Chisenhale Gallery, London; and Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen (2006). Selected group exhibitions include: Jahresgaben 2016, Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn (2016); Call and Response, Gavin Brown's Enterprise, New York (2015); Jerwood Encounters: The Grantchester Pottery paints the stage, Jerwood Visual Arts, London (2015); Empathy and Abstraction: Modernist Women in Germany, Kunsthalle Bielefeld (2015); I Cheer a Dead Man's Sweetheart, De La Warr Pavillion, Bexhill on Sea (2014); Out of the House, Cranford Collection, Fundacion Banco Santander, Madrid (2013); Folk Devil, David Zwirner, New York (2013); In the disappearing mist, the gift of whispers, Focal Point Gallery, Southend (2012); Watercolour, Tate Britain, London (2011); Sophie von Hellermann and Josh Smith, le Consortium, Dijon (2009); 100 Years, 100 Artists, 100 Works of Art, Art on the Underground, London (2008).
Sophie von Hellermann lives and works in London and Margate, United Kingdom.
Text courtesy Pilar Corrias.
Go ahead, try to picture artist Sophie von Hellermann at the studio: moving in with speed, loosely, quickly, meeting the canvas, brushes swirling, thoughts soaring, zapping, painting with tempo. Since her earliest work, she has incessantly built a catalogue of paintings, watercolors and murals, committed to the liquefaction of the very medium that...
Which weighs more: a pound of feathers or a pound of lead? The 187 big, breezy paintings that Sophie von Hellermann has produced in the last dozen years (as collated in her exhaustive recent catalogue Judgement Day, 2006) are a pound of feathers all right: determinedly wispy, anecdotal, pastel-toned, half-finished. In the main they're clearly...
Sophie Von Hellermann's paintings recall the look of fables, legends, and traditional stories that are imbued with the workings of her subconscious, rather than the content of existing images.
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