Charline von Heyl on Jacob Samuel
Read an exclusive excerpt from the New Ground: Jacob Samuel and Contemporary Etching catalogue.
Charline von Heyl
Oct 24, 2023
There is no sign of artistic struggle in Charline von Heyl’s exuberant etchings, only the same energy and humor found in her paintings. Those works often feature a much broader color palette, but in her project with Jacob Samuel the artist managed to make black printing ink on bright-yellow gampi paper work just as well. It likely helped that her series of eight images was drawn in response to the wild life and dramatic early death of Harry Crosby, nephew of financier J. P. Morgan and a prescient early publisher of modernist literary masterworks. The biography that von Heyl mentions here was written by Geoffrey Wolff, originally published in 1976, and reissued in 2003.
—Esther Adler, Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints
I was thinking about sun worship the whole time. From my hotel window, I could watch the surfers: they went out with their suits and boards in the mornings and sat like blackbirds on the water. I always thought surfing was this crazy active thing. I had no idea just how much patience it takes, waiting for the perfect wave. For me, that image is connected to the portfolio—the sun of Los Angeles and the black silhouettes in the water. Crosby’s obsession with flying into the sun seemed very similar to the surfers “worshiping” the sun in their idleness.
Want to read more? Pick up a copy of New Ground: Jacob Samuel and Contemporary Etching.
The exhibition New Ground: Jacob Samuel and Contemporary Etching is on view at MoMA October 29, 2023–March 23, 2024.