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Sophie Von Hellermann (b. 1975)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Sophie Von Hellermann (b. 1975)

Leading Lady

Sophie Von Hellermann (b. 1975)
Leading Lady
signed and dated 'SOPHIE VON HELLERMANN 2001' (on the stretcher)
acrylic on canvas
70 7/8 x 94½in. (180 x 240cm.)
Painted in 2001
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner in 2001.
London, Saatchi Gallery Underwood Street, The Saatchi Gallery presents: Sophie von Hellermann at Underwood Street, 2001 (illustrated in colour, unpaged).
Paris, Centre national d'art et de culture Georges Pompidou, Cher Peintre/Leiber Maler: Peintures Figuratives Depuis L'Ultime Picabia, 2002-2003, p. 199 (illustrated in colour, p. 178). This exhibition later travelled to Vienna, Kunsthalle Wien and Frankfurt, Kunsthalle Frankfurt.
London, Saatchi Gallery, The Triumph of Painting, 2005, p. 274 (illustrated in colour, p. 275).
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
VAT rate of 20% is payable on hammer price and buyer's premium

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Tessa Lord
Tessa Lord

Lot Essay

Rendered in subtle washes of acrylic on a vast, immersive scale, Leading Lady is an important early work by German artist Sophie Von Hellermann. The painting dates from 2001: the year that she graduated from London’s Royal College of Art, and staged her first solo exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. With their deliberately romantic, anecdotal and pastel-washed appearance, Von Hellermann’s canvases are conceived in opposition to the grandiloquence, masculine bravado and gravitas that dominated German painting during the post-War period. Working in fast, wet-on-wet brushstrokes on unprimed cotton, her fluid picture planes offer analogies for the ways in which identities slip and dissolve under the pressure of aspirational media imagery. The present work takes its place within Von Hellermann’s early cast of celebrity types and whimsical ‘girlish’ clichés; more recent canvases have drawn inspiration from broader subject matter including global politics, religion and science. ‘The paints often contain a bit of Fairy Liquid from washing out the brushes and I like to think of the canvases as giant soap bubbles’, she explains. ‘They are large scale, like projections on the wall. I have an idea that we are merely a projection of the past, that we don't really exist and that we are an imaginary future scenario played out’.

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