Sophie Von Hellermann

Who Shall Survive ?


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Almine Rech Gallery is pleased to announce the exhibition, Who Shall Survive? by Sophie von Hellermann.

Her paintings, at first sight casual and spontaneus, yield a sophisticated interpretation of myths and histories through their imaginary appropriation by the artist. Sophie von Hellermann collects stories which have accompanied mankind for centuries: she revisits Icarus, the Minotaur or Doctor Faustus with great energy and freedom. The artist appropriates the scenes and characters which, with a single movement or word, take shape on the canvas. Her paintings emerge simultaneously with her ideas, and evolve in time with the creation. Meaning is thus not pre-determined and there is room for a range of interpretations. Seeking to confront her emotions without stylizing them, her paintings appear clear and convincing, a reflection of her state of mind, sometimes filled by a touch of humour.


The title Who Shall Survive? is the title of the work opening the exhibition which depicts the question which the Oracle asked in the cave.The title of the exhibition is also a reference to the title of the work published in 1934 by Jacob Levy Moreno, who developed the psychodrama and the spontaneous staging in group and individual therapy sessions. The aim was to act out real situations by going beyond words, so that subjects could experience a feeling of catharsis and release their spontaneity. This method is similar to that developed by Sophie von Hellermann in her works, in search of a space between fantasy and reality where she can create her own world.


Sophie von Hellermann was born in Munich, Germany in 1975. She lives and works in London. After training at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf and at the Royal College of Art in London, her work has been shown in numerous exhibitions in Europe and New York. From 25 April, the Dhondt-Dhaenens museum will present a duo exhibition by Sophie von Hellermann and Josh Smith.