Hanne G: Tactile symbols

af | 20. mar, 2022 | ENGLISH

Matter at Hand, Hanne G. Foto: Dorte Krogh

MATTER AT HAND

Matter at Hand – Ten Artist in Denmark is an exhibition created in collaboration with the Danish Art Foundation and the American gallery Hostler Burrows. The exhibition opened in New York in Autumn 2021 and is now showing in L.A, the gallery’s second location.

Matter at Hand is also a catalogue with ten condensed portraits by me, among other texts. I have been given the permission to publish the portraits on my platform.
The ten artists are:

Anne Brandhøj
Stine Bidstrup
Astrid Krogh
Jakob Jørgensen
Bjørn Friborg
Hanne G
Maria Sparre-Petersen
Martin Bodilsen Kaldahl
Pernille Pontoppidan Pedersen
Yuki Ferdinandsen

The team behind the co-lab is:
The Danish Art Foundation
Hostler Burrows; Juliet Burrows and Kim Hostler
Curator: Nanna Balslev Strøyer
Photographer Dorte Krogh
Writer: Charlotte Jul
Translation: Dorte Herholdt Silver
Graphic design: Laura Silke og Line-Gry Hørup
Co-editor, US-translation: Juliet Burrows

www.hostlerburrows

Textile artist Hanne G is one of the Danish artists in the exhibition Matter at Hand – Ten Artists in Denmark, showing at the American gallery Hostler Burrows with locations in L.A. and New York.

Hanne G is a master of tactility, in both a concrete as well as a metaphoric sense. Using the precise tip of the crochet hook, she creates palm trees, light bulbs and machine guns as tactile symbols delivering political salvos, often cloaked in humor. Her breakthrough in the Danish art scene came with her 2007 piece Weapon Collection – Crocheting for Peace, which attracted attention due to the obvious contrast between weapons, war, toxic masculinity, death and destruction and the soft, crocheted material, rooted in a feminine handicraft universe. Power, status, gender equality, craft, politics and homeliness offered additional, obvious connotations. All of that from crocheting a controversial object and placing it into an artistic context …

Matter at Hand, Hanne G. Foto: Dorte Krogh

Hanne G was one of the first Danish artists to crochet messages with a convincing trinity of expression, content and an exquisite finish. That the simple technique, based on the combination of a crochet hook and a ball of yarn, can be used to manifest large sculptures is fascinating to the artist, who learned to crochet in her teens. According to Hanne G, crocheting can create ANY form. When she came out as an artist after several years as a graphic designer and, later, a TV-concept developer, she was first drawn to painting.

However, once she encountered the textile craft, she realized the potential contrasts of the medium and the opportunities it afforded for artistic statements. She found that crocheting was like riding a bicycle, you never forget. And she excelled at it. Her hands remembered the craft, aided by memories of her grandmother, who had helped her learn. And it was not just her grandmother cheering her on from the beyond but a wider, contemporary audience, who felt a sense of the familiar when they saw her work, a liberating joy. We are all familiar with this soft medium and have a relationship with it – we wear textiles, dry ourselves with a towel after the shower and use a tea towel in the kitchen. Perhaps this every day engagement makes us more receptive to textile art, even when it is placed into an unfamiliar context.

The flip side of this everyday familiarity is that the medium and the material have a low status in the artistic hierarchy and a historical link to homely, feminine pursuits – a fact that only drives Hanne G to be more conscious of her techniques, dimensions and narratives. She desires  her works to have strong impact, to move people and invite reflection.

The handmade imprints and tiny flaws that invariably arise during the process reflect the human perspective, human dreams, human flaws – themes that she finds only more compelling with age. These imperfections hold profound potential, the capacity to deconstruct aesthetic conventions and touch on the essence of what life is – much like the palms she created for this exhibition are positive metaphors for the strength to withstand a storm, even the storm of a global pandemic – existential symbols of triumph and paradise, with all their ambiguous connotations.

Matter at Hand, Hanne G. Foto: Dorte Krogh

MATTER AT HAND

Matter at Hand – Ten Artist in Denmark is an exhibition created in collaboration with the Danish Art Foundation and the American gallery Hostler Burrows. The exhibition opened in New York in Autumn 2021 and is now showing in L.A, the gallery’s second location.

Matter at Hand is also a catalogue with ten condensed portraits by me, among other texts. I have been given the permission to publish the portraits on my platform.
The ten artists are:

Anne Brandhøj
Stine Bidstrup
Astrid Krogh
Jakob Jørgensen
Bjørn Friborg
Hanne G
Maria Sparre-Petersen
Martin Bodilsen Kaldahl
Pernille Pontoppidan Pedersen
Yuki Ferdinandsen

The team behind the co-lab is:
The Danish Art Foundation
Hostler Burrows; Juliet Burrows and Kim Hostler
Curator: Nanna Balslev Strøyer
Photographer Dorte Krogh
Writer: Charlotte Jul
Translation: Dorte Herholdt Silver
Graphic design: Laura Silke og Line-Gry Hørup
Co-editor, US-translation: Juliet Burrows

www.hostlerburrows

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