Spirit & Form: Charmion von Wiegand, Collages, 1946-1961 features twenty abstract collages. The collages, literally and spiritually multi-layered, are comprised of various found materials including fragments of text pages, leaves, fabrics and graphic memorabilia. Frequently, von Wiegand recycled her own collages, drawings and paintings and integrated them with found objects.
In her collages, Charmion von Wiegand communicates her profound interest in multiculturalism and different systems of belief by infusing Arabic, Chinese, and English text as well as ancient hieroglyphics and numerology. Early collages are formal and reflect the influence of cubism, while collages of the 1950s are more liberated as the constraints of European modernism diminish and the influence of abstract expressionism appears. Works of the late 1950s and 1960s have a more spiritual content with specific references to Eastern religions, languages, and philosophies.
Charmion von Wiegand, born in 1898 in Chicago and raised in San Francisco, began as a traditional painter in 1926. In 1941, she met Piet Mondrian and they formed a close friendship which led von Wiegand to became a modernist. Mondrian’s spiritual nature and Neo-Plastic aesthetic became