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Interventionist Demonstration (Why-A-Duck?)

A work made of acrylic and spray paint on linen.

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  • A work made of acrylic and spray paint on linen.




Charline von Heyl
German, born 1960

About this artwork

“I push things to the point where I have no idea what’s going to happen,” painter Charline von Heyl has said. “I am interested in trying out something that might seem paradoxical and impossible … forcing them to work with grace and ease.” At 17 feet long, the elaborately titled Interventionist Demonstration (Why-a-Duck?) is her largest work to date. Part text and part painting, the canvas layers scrawled language and patterns over a field of loose, abstract gestures—like banners or bumper stickers tumbling and jostling across an atmospheric surface. The work generates a palpable energy, while harboring half-buried references to histories of the cartoon, graffiti, decorative painting, and expressive abstraction.


Currently Off View


Contemporary Art


Charline von Heyl


Interventionist Demonstration (Why-A-Duck?)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 2013


Acrylic and spray paint on linen


211.1 × 494 cm (83 1/8 × 194 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Helen and Sam Zell

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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