Charlotte von Poehl: Patchworks
Patchwork is a term used to describe a form built on the relationship of the parts to the whole. As in a quilt there can be great variation between the different parts, while the repetition of a pattern often is a distinguishing feature. Similarly, in von Poehl’s work, the dynamic relationship between the parts and the whole is central. A recurrent theme in most of her work is the tension between the rich variety of the individual parts and the regularity and repetition of the overarching form.
Charlotte von Poehl has visited Skissernas Museum – Museum of Artistic Process and Public Art regularly over the past few years to study sketches, artists’ letters and archival material. The notes from these visits form the basis of her work The Notepiece, one of three new works von Poehl is exhibiting in this exhibition. At the same time notes and sketches, The Notepiece constitutes a poetic exploration of the Museum’s inception and history. With quotations and reflections, both in the form of drawing and writing, the work becomes a slow excavation of the many layers in which various forms of knowledge about the Museum is stored. This gives rise to a dialogue with the works of other artists who particularly captured von Poehl’s interest. At the same time the work is also a kind of inner monologue, the artist’s movement through inner rooms without hierarchies – without beginning or end.
The exhibition also presents the new work Kristaller (Crystals) for the first time. More than 500 different crystals from old chandeliers hang together like a light-refracting cloud in the Museum’s window gallery facing the park. The piece is created for a public space in Malmö. Several early sketches for Kristaller can be found in The Notepiece. von Poehl has also produced a textile work for the exhibition. This work takes as its starting point the colour and pattern combinations of her earlier project Harlequin Drawings, which is shown in the same gallery.
Just as the sketches in The Notepiece and the harlequin works’ diamonds in various colours, the thousands of mutually different hand molded clay shapes in the older work 7000 Newton bear traces of von Poehl’s time-consuming, disciplined and meditative work process. Newton is a unit of force and could be interpreted here as the force the small figures apply on the surface. But 7000 newtons could also be the amount of energy the artist spent on making the figures. When the overarching order is disturbed and the energy required to create structure is released, as in the shapeless, glittering pile of sequins of Pool of Paillettes, the effect is dramatic.
Charlotte von Poehl (born 1966 in Lund and raised in Malmö) has lived in Paris since the early 1990s. She studied in the US and Paris and earned an MA from Goldsmiths College in London.