8 - 26.09.2020

Sophie von Hellermann

A Midsummer Night's Dream
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Overview

Pilar Corrias is pleased to present Sophie von Hellermann’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, an exhibition of twelve new paintings, opening at the gallery on 13 July 2020. To access the online viewing room, now live, click here

Sophie von Hellermann’s paintings originate as projections of her imagination. A small kernel into her mind which is blown up onto a large canvas. These projections become a background for a shadow dance where something that is conjured comes into existence. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream we are invited into a series of imaginary vignettes that are inspired by the foibles of wonderment and love. The series was completed amidst the dreamlike experience of her lockdown in the English countryside. von Hellermann felt a sense of urgency to paint during this period of global sickness and isolation and sickness The parallels between her experience of sleeping, resting and madness and Shakespeare’s play lead Von Hellermann to be inspired by the environment that surrounded her; the woods amidst the dew drops on the sweetly scented flowers, the joy of spring and summer at the same time as this period of uncertainty and death.  

As with Shakespeare’s play, von Hellermann’s process confronts the struggle between reality and imagination. The dialectical problem she faces each time she paints. Applying ancient pigments in large swathing brushstrokes directly to the canvas at an accelerated pace means that once the painting is finished she is catching up to reality. Her concept of time is absent as she is determined by the hope that her projection of this future reality will come to life instantaneously. This sense of immediacy between the working of the mind and the hands imbues her work with a sense of weightlessness and fleeting romanticism that allude to the frenzy of love. Bursts of colour and evanescent movement heighten the drama within each scene, whilst the characters chase each other between frames, toying with linear time. Summer reverie reigns, entrancing us into the land of the fairies. 

As with Shakespeare’s play, von Hellermann’s process confronts the struggle between reality and imagination. The dialectical problem she faces each time she paints. Applying ancient pigments in large swathing brushstrokes directly to the canvas at an accelerated pace means that once the painting is finished she is catching up to reality. Her concept of time is absent as she is determined by the hope that her projection of this future reality will come to life instantaneously. This sense of immediacy between the working of the mind and the hands imbues her work with a sense of weightlessness and fleeting romanticism that allude to the frenzy of love. Bursts of colour and evanescent movement heighten the drama within each scene, whilst the characters chase each other between frames, toying with linear time. Summer reverie reigns, entrancing us into the land of the fairies.

 

Pilar Corrias is pleased to present Sophie von Hellermann’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, an exhibition of twelve new paintings, opening at the gallery on 13 July 2020. To access the online viewing room, now live, click here

Sophie von Hellermann’s paintings originate as projections of her imagination. A small kernel into her mind which is blown up onto a large canvas. These projections become a background for a shadow dance where something that is conjured comes into existence. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream we are invited into a series of imaginary vignettes that are inspired by the foibles of wonderment and love. The series was completed amidst the dreamlike experience of her lockdown in the English countryside. von Hellermann felt a sense of urgency to paint during this period of global sickness and isolation and sickness The parallels between her experience of sleeping, resting and madness and Shakespeare’s play lead Von Hellermann to be inspired by the environment that surrounded her; the woods amidst the dew drops on the sweetly scented flowers, the joy of spring and summer at the same time as this period of uncertainty and death.  

As with Shakespeare’s play, von Hellermann’s process confronts the struggle between reality and imagination. The dialectical problem she faces each time she paints. Applying ancient pigments in large swathing brushstrokes directly to the canvas at an accelerated pace means that once the painting is finished she is catching up to reality. Her concept of time is absent as she is determined by the hope that her projection of this future reality will come to life instantaneously. This sense of immediacy between the working of the mind and the hands imbues her work with a sense of weightlessness and fleeting romanticism that allude to the frenzy of love. Bursts of colour and evanescent movement heighten the drama within each scene, whilst the characters chase each other between frames, toying with linear time. Summer reverie reigns, entrancing us into the land of the fairies. 

For von Hellermann, Midsummer is the time of year when Britain is said to be at its most glorious, fairies are mythologised as dancing across lush fields and it is easy to be carried away with the celebrations of the summer solstice. The buried ruins of King Arthur’s castle become the grounds for a huge rave, celebrations are held at Stonehenge, and we feel more connected to the ethereal lands of Britain’s past. 

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: 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: 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.

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