Sewn, embroidered and punched: The exhibition Threaded Lineart looks at the way in which lines in different textures and material qualities create cross-genre links between drawings, sculptures and installations. Drawings have always served as an indispensable step towards conceptualisation and the creation of drafts, symbolising the very act of creating an idea and therefore manifesting an elementary part of fine art. Yet over and above this sketching function, many contemporary artists use drawings as an artistic means of expression which implies an ongoing desire to redefine and explore the limits of this medium. These endeavours to expand the purpose of drawing have recently led to a focus not only on the traditional shape of a drawing on paper, but also on broadening the potential range of ideas that can be associated with lineart. After all lines as the central elements of a drawing exist just as much on the two-dimensional level as they do in three-dimensional space where they function as vectors between two points and where they create a given volume. Threaded Lineart highlights the different aspects and techniques of the medium, based on nine specially selected artistic positions. The broad spectrum of these positions illustrates the seemingly endless variety of contemporary drawings.
The two central starting points in the work of the fine artist and musician Michaela Melián (1956) are history and topography. The exhibition will include Melián's sewn drawings, with the basic motifs displayed through the medium of a camera. Photographs are translated into drawings, yet not by a conventional crayon or pencil, but by a sewing machine. The continuous machine-sewn thread shows the silhouettes of landscapes, buildings and streets. As the artist uses both an upper and bobbin thread, each picture has two sides. This reflects the historic heritage of many German towns and cities which often have both a visible side and a hidden side.
Tracey Emin (born in 1976) focuses on sexuality, drugs and other passions as her work is largely motivated by her own story. Textile materials play a major role in her art, including her well-known works "My Bed" and "Everyone I Have Slept With" . When a large-scale retrospective exhibition was held at Kunstmuseum Bern in 2009, it included embroidered tapestries the size of banners, bearing a variety of slogans.
The Albanian artist Anila Rubiku (born in 1970) will be showing her series "Sewn Memories". Each piece of embroidery comes in pairs, as a diptychon, yet this two-part constellation manifests itself not just formally but also in artistic content. One piece of work always shows a realistic three-dimensional situation without any individuals, where the focus is always on the furnishings of the room. The other item has one or more figures who have been divested of their physical nature and who have been turned into abstract entities. Dream and reality, memory and fiction thus become indistinguishable under the duality of representational items and fragmented abstraction.
The drawings and paintings of Motoko Dobashi (born in 1976) combine pictorial elements of traditional Japanese graphic arts with the old masters of European art. At the same time the artist tries to find references of form and content in modern everyday art, as borrowed from comics and street art. In her narrative, representational scenes she plays with spatial illusions that are confined to subdued colours which further enhance the magical language of her artistic language.
The recurring elements in Matthias Männer's (born 1976) latest large-scale installations are black cables. Whether separately or in bunches, these black cables cling to the three-dimensional sculptures which are presented either in the middle of a room or which protrude from a wall. The black cables contrast sharply with the white surfaces of his fantasy sculptures. The three-dimensional composition of each Styrodur surface is effectively complemented by the linearity of the cables that lead either towards the ceiling or along the ground.
Carola Bark (born in 1965) draws her grid structures both on two-dimensional surfaces and in space. Whether it is paper and board or the floor and the walls, the artist covers these surfaces with a graphic network of lines, composed of graphite, adhesive tape, thread and rubber cord. Since her "Interventions" in public space, whereby she adorned façades and advertising columns with adhesive tape from 2001 to 2004, her art has been particularly inspired by architecture as well as by music. The previously reduced colour repertoire in her lined patterns has recently been expanded to include very vivid colours.
Fred Sandback (1994-2003) saw himself as a sculptor. Yet instead of working with stone, he used a material that is infinitely lighter: coloured acrylic threads. And instead of displaying any form of monumentalism, the results of his three-dimensional work are minimal in character. Moreover, they are walk-in sculptures, as Sandback saw them as "drawings to live in". The same immediacy also characterises Sandback's lino cuts and lithographic works, of which several editions are shown at the exhibition.
The South Korean artist Jeongmoon Choi (born 1966) will be showing her large installation "Bottomless Pits". Fifteen vessels, woven together from wool, can be seen hovering vertically between floor and ceiling. The woollen threads, which are blue, yellow, red, black and white, remind us of a traditional Korean national dress, a hanbok. The shapes of the vessels are based on traditional Korean pottery items, known as onggi. Asian tradition and Western art meet in a room installation where the title refers to two idiomatic phrases, one in German and the other in Korean.
Christof Zwiener (born in 1972) measures real and fictitious space with yarn. Using network structures and lengths of thread, he generates perspective-based scenarios that emerge and disappear, so that they are characterised in their basic idea by Baudelaire's "aspect of volatility". In Threaded Lineart he will be showing a range of works in which he presents a deconstructive discussion of Fred Sandback's graphic and threaded works.
text: Verena Bader, M.A. | www.wortbad.de
the drawing lab - a cooperation between Dina4 Projekt Munich and fruehsorge contemporary drawings, Berlin
the drawing lab is a platform for the development, research and presentation of the medium of drawing.