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Idolores

Modern and Contemporary Art

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Idolores

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Charline von Heyl
German, born 1960

Date

2011

Medium

Acrylic and oil on linen

Accession #

2011.334

Dimensions

62 1/4 × 60 × 1 1/4 inches

Location

On View - Anne Cox Chambers Wing, Skyway, Gallery 422

Description

Assumptions about abstraction and representation are central in the work of Charline von Heyl. She challenges these assumptions through a combination of pattern, form and spatial illusion in the painting Idolores. The ground is composed of the vertical axis of a grid evoking the work of Agnes Martin (whose work is on view nearby). Atop the grid is the bust of a crowned figure Idolores, a name from the lyrics of a song in James Joyce’s Ulysses: “O, Idolores, Queen of the Eastern Seas!” This passage from Ulysses conflates its protagonist’s wife Molly Bloom with sirens – femme fatale mermaids from Homer’s Odyssey. Von Heyl’s allusion to Joyce suggests the powerful agency of creative women, like Agnes Martin, throughout history.

Credit

Gift of the Alex Katz Foundation

Image Copyright

Courtesy of Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York