Von Heyl-bait: Spatial Force Construction, 1921, Lyubov Popova
A couple of weeks ago Charline von Heyl made a refreshingly badass presentation on painting at the Hammer Museum. [It was organized by UCLA’s art department.] The tenor was quite different, it quickly became one of my favorite artist talks since Thomas Houseago’s Public Art Fund lecture at the New School last year.
Von Heyl talks a lot about her sources and tactics, including design, folk and indigenous art, and overlooked and bad [Bad?] painting. Rather than narrating a trajectory for her work, or elaborating on her technique, she focuses on how she looks, and on how central that is to what she does eventually turn out.
So obviously, this from the q&a:
I find the idea of time in painting super-interesting in every respect, you know, the speed of the brush, the way the backwards/forwards thing goes, the time of the paradox, which is probably my idea of irony, the material thing that switches things around.
And so all those things really feed into each other, and the time of looking is constantly feeding into it, constantly. And it’s really–one of the first things I do when I go to the studio is to get different books and check different things out.
And for me, the whole blog thing is a godsend. If I put in one of my favorite paintings, some weird Popova painting or something like that, and go to images and blog, there’s a kindred soul, you know, somebody who has the same taste. And from there, you find other blogs because he’s going to go somewhere, And I think books have been so important for me, but now, blogs, painters’ blogs are, I mean, there are a lot of people who are super smart when it comes to looking, and it’s really fun to look at it. I use that a lot, too.
A follow-up question asked what blogs she looks at, and she balked; she can’t name her favorite books, either, she said, because she doesn’t know the titles. It’s a result of being immersed in “this community of images.” So it makes sense that the one blog she did manage to namecheck is Bibliodyssey. [She also said she does read Notes on Looking, too.]
UCLA Department of Art Lectures: Charline von Heyl [hammer.ucla.edu, thx