Sophie von Hellermann Artworks

Sophie von Hellermann's paintings are known for their childlike quality. They depict illustrated figures in fictional spaces, rendered in light strokes and soft pastel shades.

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Early Works

Von Hellermann's interest in popular culture started from her days in Dusseldorf, where she collaborated with other painters and musicians under the name 'Hobbypop', staging multi-media installations based on ironic references to contemporary culture.

One notable Hobbypop event included a painting show featuring works by von Hellermann and fellow artist Markus Vater posing as Ulrike Meinhof and Andrea Baader, infamous German terrorists who died in custody in the 1970s. Featuring works signed by 'Ulrike' and 'Andrea', the exhibition posited an alternative timeline in which the pair survived and turned into painters.

Reimagined Icons

Von Hellerman's subsequent subjects borrow from pop culture icons, as with her paintings of the Velvet Underground singer and Warhol protégé Nico, who passed away from mysterious circumstances in Ibiza. In 2004, paintings on show at Vilma Gold Gallery in London as part of the exhibition On the Ground paid homage to the vocalist and heroin addict by reimagining her life and legacy.

Amongst the included paintings, Christo Paffgen (2003), titled after the birth name of the singer, shows the portrait of a pensive young woman set in a pastoral landscape, imbued in the glow of youth, preceeding all excesses.

Goddess in the Doorway

In 2005, von Hellermann held her first solo exhibition in New York at Greene Naftali, exhibiting a series of figurative portraits prompted by the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein's formulation of the theory of relativity in 1905.

The exhibition, titled Goddess in the Doorway, was inspired by a series of correspondence between Albert Einstein and his wife, which led von Hellermann to become interested in the scientist's personal life, imagining a kind of muse for the thinker.

The painting Good Space Girl (2005) depicts one of such muses inside a translucent spaceship. With a dark green dress and golden hair, the figure's bare leg is lifted in the air to show her red toenail polish.

Narrative and Process

Von Hellerman's figures and scenes are spread generously across the unprimed canvas, using a technique that incorporates staining and rapid gestures with acrylic paint and large brushes.

Recalling the Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber (1791), von Hellermann painted a series of scenes based on the storybook from her childhood, shown at Pilar Corrias, London in an exhibition of the same name in 2021.

Paintings in the exhibition recreate celebratory scenes through a whirl of fluid strokes in soft tones of orange, yellow, and red. They feature a blur of fictional characters performing the dragon dance, as in Tiger (2021), or flying kites beside peach trees, as in Flying Kites (2021).

Browse Artworks
Wisteria Hysteria by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Wisteria Hysteria, 2021 Acrylic on canvas
200 x 190 cm
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Muse by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Muse, 2023 Acrylic on canvas
73.7 x 100.3 cm
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Isledle Life by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Sophie von Hellermann Isledle Life, 2022 Watercolour on paper
57.2 x 76.2 cm
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Cat by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Cat, 2018 Acrylic on canvas
61 x 81.3 cm
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Double Life by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Double Life, 2023 Acrylic on canvas
140 x 160 cm
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I hated her by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann I hated her, 2022 Acrylic on canvas
130 x 150 cm
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Out of touch by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Out of touch, 2022 Acrylic on canvas
200 x 190 cm
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Harvest by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Harvest, 2022 Acrylic on canvas
180 x 230 cm
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Crazy German Surfer by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Crazy German Surfer, 2021 Acrylic on canvas
180 x 230 cm
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Magic in the Sky by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Magic in the Sky, 2021 Acrylic on canvas
220 x 280 cm
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Peach Garden by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Peach Garden, 2021 Acrylic on canvas
160 x 140 cm
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Fairy Dance by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Fairy Dance, 2021 Acrylic on canvas
160 x 140 cm
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Tiger by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Tiger, 2021 Acrylic on canvas
81 x 91 cm
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When truth becomes fiction by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann When truth becomes fiction, 2021 Acrylic on canvas
130 x 150 cm
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Flying Kites by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Flying Kites, 2021 Acrylic on canvas
180 x 230 cm
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Rebirth of the Stone by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Rebirth of the Stone, 2021 Acrylic on canvas
140 x 160 cm
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Song of the Earth by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Song of the Earth, 2020 Acrylic on canvas
200 x 190 cm
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Fairy Dance by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Fairy Dance, 2020 Acrylic on canvas
140 x 160 cm
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The course of True Love by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann The course of True Love, 2020 Acrylic on canvas
180 x 230 cm
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Never Does Run Smooth by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Never Does Run Smooth, 2020 Acrylic on canvas
180 x 230 cm
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Fond Chase by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Fond Chase, 2020 Acrylic on canvas
180 x 230 cm
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Fairy Dance by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Fairy Dance, 2020 Acrylic on canvas
130 x 150 cm
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She is Little, But She is Fierce by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann She is Little, But She is Fierce, 2020 Acrylic on canvas
180 x 230 cm
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Pilar Corrias
River Phoenix by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann River Phoenix, 2020 Acrylic on canvas
160 x 130 cm
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Oak Dance by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Oak Dance, 2020 Acrylic on canvas
200 x 190 cm
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Sweet Dreams are made of this by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Sweet Dreams are made of this, 2024 Double-sided, acrylic on canvas, wood
200 x 320 cm
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Carve by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Carve, 2024 Acrylic on canvas
140 x 160 cm
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Dawn Patrol by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Dawn Patrol, 2024 Acrylic on canvas
140 x 160 cm
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Lion Manes by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Lion Manes, 2022 Acrylic on canvas
170 x 190 x 2 cm
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Mama and Boy by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Mama and Boy, 2022 Acrylic on canvas
180 x 230 x 2 cm
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How we disappeared by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann How we disappeared, 2022 Acrylic on canvas
135 x 120 cm
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Sea Farers by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Sea Farers, 2022 Acrylic on canvas
180 x 230 cm
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Arrival by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Arrival, 2022 Acrylic on canvas
170 x 190 cm
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Explosion by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Explosion, 2022 Acrylic on canvas
130 x 150 cm
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See you later by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann See you later, 2019 Acrylic on canvas
91.5 x 81.5 x 2 cm
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Ship on fire by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Ship on fire, 2020 Acrylic on canvas
61 x 71.5 x 2 cm
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Tree hugger by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Tree hugger, 2020 Acrylic on canvas
280 x 220 x 4 cm
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Tropical Island by Sophie von Hellermann contemporary artwork painting
Sophie von Hellermann Tropical Island, 2019 Acrylic on canvas
86.5 x 76.5 cm
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