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

13 May - 27 June 2021 Main Space

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.


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, offering the surface of the canvas as a space of 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. Heinze works on each canvas up until the point where form and space exist in continual flux – a moment of transition, undermining restrictive hierarchies or other categorical structures. While these abstracted environments, vibrating with vivid colour, appear whimsical and enigmatic, her compositions refute normative modes of existence, challenging constructed notions such as balance or harmony.


For the artist, the process of creating promotes healing, allowing her to form a space of respite – an escape from the exhaustion of living under restrictive systems of power. This dissipation of violence is reflected in Heinze’s embrace of collage, an activity that has intensified within this new body of work. Tearing up her drawings and taping them back together, Heinze disrupts relationships and narratives, uncovering weaknesses in their meaning. Translated onto her large-scale canvases, collaged elements act as a protective shield, covering up and concealing forms – a metaphor for the recesses of the imagination where vulnerability, fear, misunderstanding and desire are shrouded.


Stefanie Heinze (b. 1987) lives and works in Berlin. She earned her BA from National Academy of Fine Arts, Oslo (2012), her MA from Academy of Fine Arts, Leipzig (2014), and she also participated 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.