The Wind Blows–the wind blows, and it blows in the new. The Wind Blows is a fitting title for the first exhibition of Boutwell Schabrowsky's 2021 program, featuring two extraordinary artists: Judith Egger and Susanne Thiemann.
Susanne Thiemann crosses borders. Coming from an artistic family, she was drawn to craft–the 'making of things. She became a basket weaver. As a practising artist for the last 20 years, her craft has given her a platform and a recurring starting point. And so it is only on closer inspection that one discovers that all of her sculptures and objects are woven works that are lovingly detailed.
The material has been an accidental discovery. It is original plastic tubing from the 1960s and 1970s that was used to produce garden chairs and sun lounges. This elastic and smooth material has an enormous significance for Thiemann. It stands for her 'Sturm-und-Drang' period and precisely that era, in which revolutionary energy and protest were in the air. A young generation and the new art wanted to change old thought patterns in order to reach new horizons. New materials, new forms of expression and new themes were explored. The transformation was enormous.
This openness and joy of experimentation is still part of Susanne Thiemann's attitude to life and thus of her artistic working process. Chance plays an enormous role in all her works. Thus it is the 'hand of gravity' that models curves and bulges. As a result, the works have something immensely pleasurable about them, appearing soft and tactile. You just want to touch them!
Thiemann's works are almost real characters in their own right with a powerful personality. Whether they stand or hang from the ceiling...they are immensely present, occupy the space, are autonomous, stubborn and individualistic. With them, the artist performs a skilful balancing act in which opposites are interwoven in a completely harmonious way: craft and art, sensuality and calculation, grandeur and lightness, organic and artificial, lush and reduced, sensual and conscious. Well, opposites attract. And then there is suspense, and suspense is the opposite of lax and lethargic.
'Suspense' is the keyword that takes us to Judith Egger.
The Munich-based artist began in a very classical way: she moved to Oberammergau and came back as a wood sculptor, only to move on to London to study art, design and communications. Since then, she has steadily expanded her artistic spectrum: it ranges from performance to video and photography to comic books, ceramics, objects and installations ...not to forget: drawings. The gallery is showing a selection from the series 'Dark Collages'.
Judith Egger is like a system of satellites orbiting around a central theme, namely 'energy'. Not just any physical unit. No, she is interested in the primordial energy. This pure energy that flows through everything that exists ... that gives life the initial spark so that it begins to breathe. This all-encompassing, pure energy fascinates Judith Egger because it is in all of us and drives us like an engine. The vital, creative, visionary element in us is given the spark it needs to enter the world.
Judith Eggers' cartoon-like drawings, spiced with a good pinch of the legendary 'dark humour' of the British, tell of this power. Amorphous masses swell, swell and push in all directions to grow and develop. But it is not easy for them–geometric structures put up quite a fight against the developmental urge of the bulging mass of life. They set the direction and keep the untamed 'life force' in check.
The vitality of life is increasingly disappearing from our society. Judith Egger observes this development attentively, in which life is more and more constructed and controlled, but less and less lived. The artist's observations flow into works that are often carried by a delightful irony. Her 'insect hotels' are a fine example. The source of inspiration was the local DIY stores in and around Munich. Various models of such a so-called insect hotel can be purchased there. 'Interesting', says Judith Egger, a certain ambiguity caught her eye here.
Perfectly styled gardens, in which a privately motivated land consolidation is carried out, in which flora and fauna do not feel welcome. And that is why one puts such an insect hotel in the garden to offer 'nesting aids' to wild bees and ladybirds. 'Environmental protection is 'in' and we're in' is the motto. It's a shame that most of these nesting aids are not visited by the beneficial flying and crawling creatures, because they simply do not meet their natural needs. Against this background, Judith Egger's advertisement for her versions of an insect hotel is to be understood with irony through and through.
Deluxe Insect Hotel–'Are you an insect looking for a special place to relax? The Deluxe Insect Hotel and the Bio Insect Hotel offer you relaxation and wellness at the highest level. Our offers range from bungee jumping, beach volleyball, day spa to full five-star cuisine. We will be happy to provide you with a non-binding offer.'
Press release courtesy Susan Boutwell Gallery. Text: Marion von Schabrowsky.
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