WALL AT WAM: Charline Von Heyl

museum hours Sun, Jan 1, 2012 - Sun, Feb 24, 2013

Venue: Worcester Art Museum

55 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609




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Von Heyl's inspiration for this commissioned mural, part of the Museum's Wall at WAM series, was Ellsworth Kelly's Orange White, a 1961 abstract painting in the Museum's collection. In a quickly executed initial sketch, von Heyl instinctively adapted the orange and white palette and vertically-stacked lozenge structure of the Kelly to the horizontal demands and architectural setting of the mural. Von Heyl's challenge in translating her drawing on site at this monumental scale (17 x 67 feet) was to reinvent each gesture with equal degrees of precision and liveliness (the painting process did not allow for mistakes or revisions) in order to keep the overall image, rhythm, and freshness of her original sketch. Simultaneously structured and improvisational, the Worcester mural is a painting that can be experienced as a single expansive composition as well as one that unfolds in contiguous segments spatially defined by the lozenges. In her ambitious reincarnation of the museum's Kelly, the intrepid von Heyl recharges that modernist moment while invigorating both the long history of murals and the current chapter of abstract painting.

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