With her penchant for stylistic shifts and lexicon of visual moves, the German-born painter Charline von Heyl has been called one of the most influential artists working today. One of 17 artists represented in The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World that just opened at MOMA, von Heyl is definitely having a moment. A suite of etchings on view at Crown Point Press is an opportune time to consider her graphic work.
figurative forms. The work evokes Picasso’s muscularity, as eyeballs, thick hands, and bent arms grapple for purchase and stability. In Nightpack (Red, Yellow and Blue) this consists of a central mass of red ink bursting from a frame of blue over a pitted washy ground of pale yellow, with red gestural flaps suggesting cockscombs and bird beaks, qualities that give the work a barnyard, hard scrapple urgency. von Heyl speaks of “our slapstick eternal now.” And in Nightpack (The Lost Weekend) she inks a cartoony bottle into a four-fingered hand, bringing to mind scuffling scenarios of drunken benders.