Sophie von Hellermann

Sophie von Hellermann was born in Munich, Germany in 1975 and lives and works in London and Margate, United Kingdom.

Her romantic, pastel-washed canvases draw inspiration from fables, legends and classical mythology. She applies pure pigment directly onto unprimed canvas, using broad-brushed washes to imbue her paintings with a sense of weightlessness.

Hellermann’s recent works have been inspired by the classical Chinese novel The Dream of the Red Chamber. The book was important for von Hellermann, as well as her grandmother and parents, and they spoke about it often at home when she was a child. She recently acquired a number of different translations of the book and began to paint works based upon her recollections of the text from childhood.

Ralph Rugoff (Director of the Hayward Gallery and curator of the Venice Biennale in 2019) included several of her works in an important contemporary painting show, Mixing it Up: Painting Today, at the Hayward Gallery (2021).

Von Hellermann received her BFA from Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf and an MFA from Royal College of Art, London. Selected solo exhibitions include: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Pilar Corrias, London (2020) Swirls and Circles, Wentrup, Berlin (2019); Ileden, Greene Naftali, New York (2019); Sophie von Hellermann: New Waves, Pilar Corrias, London (2018); 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: Mixing It Up: Painting Today, Hayward Gallery, London, UK (2021); With a Capital P: Selections by Six Painters, Elmhurst Art Museum, Berlin (2019); 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); 100 Years, 100 Artists, 100 Works of Art, Art on the Underground, London (2008).



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