In the same interview mentioned earlier, von Heyl described the images she creates as “an accumulation of everything that charges me or that invites desire.” And that charge is found looping and riveting throughout all of her works, binding them together, and creating small waves of conversation between them as they hang opposite one another on gallery walls or in her studios. Though each of her paintings feels so distinctly itself,there are marked stylistic recurrences in her work that relate them all to one another. The same curvatures and lines are used, the same arrows are painted with absolute precision, the same female face appears in profile, sometimes only as a phantom trace, and from time to time, the same thick black droplets – which could be raindrops or tears – are scattered across the canvas. Geometric blocks of colour – often in “dirty pastels” as von Heyl likes to call them – rub up against swirling, gestural washes of paint in which the brushstrokes remain visible. In one particular piece, entitled Gacela, 2016, a formidable, cube-like form appears to bob on a wave of rose-coloured leaf forms, rising like a dense black iceberg out of pale, pink waters.
Elsewhere, paintings are entirely monochrome, as in 5 Signs of Disturbance, 2018, where the aforementioned black droplets hang over decorative swirls and expressive acrylic line drawings. Preferring not to sketch out or pre-plan the works she paints before beginning them, von Heyl instead opts to give herself over to a series of aesthetic decisions and happenings beyond her control as the process unfolds. She doubles back on herself, draws faces or figures and then makes them disappear, and follows the lines that flow from her hand in real time. What she chooses to erase, what she does and doesn’t do, the spaces between her gestures, are all as important as what remains on the canvas in the end. And those lines of hers are graphic in their very essence, calm and confident and entirely without wooziness.