We are thrilled to welcome artist Linda Männel into Arthouse from January 28th to February 27th, 2017.
Linda was born in Hausham, a small village within the mountains of Bavaria, Germany in 1983. By the age of eleven, her fifth-grade teacher could already see her creative attributes and assured Linda that her path was as an artist. After her high school studies, Linda joined the Bauhaus for a year to learn diverse skills with wood, glass and textile. From 2003 to 2005, she joined the Nürnberg Academy of Fine Arts where professor Diet Sayler addressed the practice of concrete art. A movement that calls for an art that is non-referential to the entities normally encountered in the natural, visible world. From 2005 to 2009, professor Eva von Platen chose–amidst all her students—Linda as her master student because she saw in her the most tenacious and willful person that was confident and competent to follow her own convictions. For the past 8 years, Linda explores the dynamic of remembrance via a meeting point between black and white ink painting and colored yarn stitching on canvas. She uses textile as a means of bringing color into her work in an experimental fashion.
Linda’s work tantalizes the viewer by a play between hiding and revealing. The painted background loses its immediacy once the artist meticulously wraps her composition with a delicate textile-coloring. Her use of yarn acts as a soft veiling that gives an additional surface to her work by leaving a few parts of the background exposed. This suave layering gives her work a spatial and temporal depth, rendering diverse images that arise only as the viewer changes its vantage point and light. The viewer becomes an actor of her work as he/she is invited to dig up personal experiences as if the memories hid beneath the textile. The universal character in Linda’s work makes her embroidered paintings accessible to a large public.
The artist plays with the conception of female role models of a former time where embroidery is a practical activity but also a decorative practice for the indoor female. By adopting this practice in a 21st century context, Linda breaks away from constrictions to give her oeuvre an innovative and distinct style. Once Linda has composed her images with black and white ink, she begins a monthlong journey into the embroidery process. The act feels almost as a gentle cocooning of memories, family history, relationships and social environment.
Linda’s social context seeps into her process in a similar way that the ink penetrates her canvases. The current xenophobia atmosphere in her country is a threat to her former condition where multiculturalism makes her country ‘colorful’ as she expressed in an interview with us. She previously developed a search for Arcadia in her work, a lost post-mortem paradise but described as the best experience that one could ever have. A peaceful and satisfying utopic place. Linda focused on her surroundings, on landscapes and for a moment felt confident of her blessings; living in a great country with lovely people but that little by little begin to be led by fear and negativity. Casual exchanges with her family and friends become more and more political, a familiar custom like visiting a Christmas market brings anxiety. Linda is in fact a lively and enthusiastic woman who has lately resorted to a darker palette thus to her current setting.
From January 28th to February 27th, Linda will have the opportunity to live amongst a different culture and will occupy one of our apartments and studios to continue her explorations around the power of remembrance. As this is the first time she visits Mexico she is expecting that this new environment will make a positive impact into the development of her practice. Just as she is, we are eager to welcome her into our family and watch how this magical new setting soaks into her artwork.