Sophie von Hellermann
Petri Dishes

June 23 - August 18, 2018







Parrasch Heijnen Gallery is pleased to announce Petri Dishes, the gallery’s first solo exhibition of new paintings by artist Sophie von Hellermann.
Inquisitive microscopes peer over Petri dishes, scrutinizing imaginary microcosms of cultural growths and various characters in action. Depicting moments from a wide range of source material that includes modern American culture, Christianity, Greek mythology, and German folklore, von Hellermann examines the basis of our cultural understanding.
As von Hellermann states, “Painting idioms and metaphor and literary references has always been part of my practice. I see the empty canvas as a mirror for thoughts like a stage and the pigments and acrylic emulsion and water as narrators and actors.”
The artist’s thin application of media unrestrainedly moves about yet is ultimately controlled under her guidance. She paints weightless and diaphanous subjects floating throughout the canvas with a similar unstructured effect as smeared pastels where colors loosely flow into one another. Each piece, laid on the ground, is painted quickly and freely. Changing even the mundane into sentimental reveries, von Hellermann’s allegorical narratives defy containment, as if to extend beyond the canvas’ edge and root themselves into the pancultural psyche.
Sophie von Hellermann (b. 1975, Munich, Germany) lives and works in Margate, UK. She received her BFA from Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf, and an MFA from Royal College of Art, London. Selected solo exhibitions include Pilar Corrias, London (2018), Office Baroque, Brussels (2017), Vilma Gold, London (2015) and Greene Naftali, New York (2013). In 2009 and 2010, the two-person exhibition Sophie von Hellermann & Josh Smith, was held at the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium and Le Consortium, Dijon, France, respectively. Von Hellermann’s work has been included in numerous group exhibitions including That Continuous Thing: Artists and the Ceramics Studio, 1920-today, Tate St Ives, St Ives, UK (2017), Watercolour, Tate Britain, London (2011) and Cher Peintre, Lieber Maler, Dear Painter, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2002). Von Hellermann’s work resides in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.