Exhibition | Stefanie Heinze Stories of the Imaginary (self-portrait of two lemons) | Contemporary Art at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery | London | Art Week

Stefanie Heinze Stories of the Imaginary (self-portrait of two lemons)

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Thursday, 13 May 2021
Sunday, 27 June 2021 - 10:00am

Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is delighted to present Stories of the Imaginary (self-portrait of two lemons), a solo exhibition of new paintings and drawings by German artist Stefanie Heinze. The exhibition, running from 13 May to 27 June, will be the artist’s second at the gallery following recent institutional acquisitions by MAMCO Geneva and Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, and a solo exhibition at Petzel Gallery, New York (2020).

A playful and introspective body of work, Stories of the Imaginary (self-portrait of two lemons) blurs the boundaries between waking and dreaming. Through expressive arrangements, Heinze draws on recent experience of restricted movement and limited social interaction, using the surface of the canvas as a space for the imagination – a substitute for closeness and touch. Proposing an implausible notion (a self-portrait of two individuals), the artist explores dualities, reflections and doubling in relation to constructions of selfhood. The paintings are accompanied by twin titles such as Parasol (STICK THER F BOI) and Junks (Self-portrait as Bonechewer), which complicate as much as they inform. Heinze begins each work as a drawing, working on each canvas until form and space exist in continual flux – a moment of transition undermining restrictive hierarchies. While these abstracted environments vibrating with vivid colour appear whimsical and enigmatic, her compositions refute normative modes of existence, challenging constructed notions of balance and harmony.

For Heinze the process of creating promotes healing, allowing her to form a space of respite and escape from the exhaustion of her upbringing and restrictive systems of power. This dissipation of violence is reflected in her embrace of collage, an activity that has intensified with her new work. Through tearing up her drawings and reconstructing them, she disrupts relationships and narratives, uncovering weaknesses in their meaning. Heinze likens this process to a visual and physical way of thinking where connotations evolve in response to new developments. Translated onto large-scale canvases the collaged elements act as a protective shield, sheltering or covering up forms – a metaphor for the recesses of the imagination where vulnerability, fear, misunderstanding and desire are shrouded.


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Stefanie Heinze (b. 1987) lives and works in Berlin. She studied at the National Academy of Fine Arts, Oslo (2012) and the Academy of Fine Arts, Leipzig (2014), also participating in the residency programme at Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Maine (2016). Solo exhibitions include Frail Juice, Petzel Gallery, New York (2020); Ruler, LC Queisser, Tbilisi (2019); Odd Glove, Capitain Petzel, Berlin (2019); Food for the Young (Oozing Out), Mary Boone Gallery (2018); and Genuflect Softly #1, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London (2017). Heinze has participated in numerous group exhibitions including Studio Berlin, Boros Foundation with Berghain, Berlin (2020); Quadro, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg (2020); Liquid Bodies, Sammlung Philara, Düsseldorf (2019); Known Unknowns, Saatchi Gallery, London (2018), and Nothing Will Be As Before, Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin (2018). Collections include MAMCO Genève; Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; Marguerite Hoffman Collection, Dallas; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; and The Rachofsky Collection, Dallas.

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Pippy Houldsworth Gallery opened its current space on Heddon Street in 2011 and represents an international list of established and emerging artists, over two-thirds of whom are women. The gallery has presented the first UK solo exhibitions of a number of significant artists, including Faith Ringgold, Carrie Mae Weems, Jacqueline de Jong and Jadé Fadojutimi. Group shows are rooted in intergenerational dialogue: Agnes Martin, Mary Kelly and Kenturah Davis; Hans Haacke, Andrea Bowers and Sharon Hayes; and Helen Frankenthaler alongside RA graduate Aimée Parrott. The Box, the gallery’s microproject space, has provided context for works, often specially commissioned, by artists including Alina Szapocznikow, Susan Hiller, Woody De Othello, Martha Rosler, Arlene Shechet, Yinka Shonibare CBE and Ai Weiwei. The gallery participates in numerous international art fairs including Art Basel (Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong), The Armory Show (New York), Frieze (London and New York) and Art Berlin (Germany) and FIAC (Paris).


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