Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection

Charline von Heyl. Untitled. 2003

Cut-and-pasted printed paper and ink on fifteen pieces of paper, Each: 23 1/2 x 18 3/4" (59.7 x 47.6 cm)
Installation: 86 1/2 x 120 1/2 x 1 1/2" (219.7 x 306.1 x 3.8 cm). The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection Gift. © 2022 Charline von Heyl

Artist, Charline Von Heyl: I'm Charlene Von Heyl. I'm an artist from Germany living in New York since 11 years. This was my first investigation into what is possible with the line and the drawing.

My desire for lines all has always been very intense. I can remember images from my childhood that were just a little inch of a line that really triggered desire, that did something to me. And to investigate that, I actually went back to look for those lines and they were actually from drawings by the German artist Otto Ubbelohde who was illustrating, the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm in the early 20s.

So I would photocopy all the lines that I loved, and I did it with great speed, just having all the works around me and like a puzzle, just placing them somewhere. It is extremely low tech, so standing in front of the drawings, you will absolutely see where the piece of paper stops, and where the line starts.

And if you look into the drawings, you will see a princess' head with a crown popping up, or a fish... or the little details. The folds of clothes or so where you can tell that it actually had a purpose as a line.

And that excited me so much that I was not only photocopying the lines that I loved from the Brothers Grimm, but also, any image from books that gave my eyes some sort of excitement.

This is my way of sketching. The photocopy thing is really, really fast. I have to have the joy of being completely surprised when I make it. Like whoa (Laughs). And the copy machine has the whoa ... effect, actually really big.

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