Silke Radenhausen
Grammar of Ornament: Nineveh & Persia, 1997

  • Canvas
  • 400 x 300 cm, six parts each 140 x 140 cm
  • Acquired in 2014

Silke Radenhausen calls her objects ›Topologic cloths‹; these cannot be classed clearly as sculptures or as paintings. Radenhausen’s attention is focused on the basis of painting in the literal sense, on the tensed canvas as image carrier in Western (illusionist) art. On the basis of scholarly and feminist discussions on art theory, she questions illusionist pictorial concepts that disembody the viewer and celebrate the enjoyment of art as the highest transcendence. She works with the painter’s canvas itself by sewing the washed and dyed linen onto and into one another over the entire surface and then, if necessary, pulling it back onto a stretcher frame. In 1856, British architect and designer Sir Owen Jones (1809–1874) published his treatise ›The Grammar of Ornament‹, in which he formulated »General Principles for the Arrangement of Form and Colour in Architecture and the Decorative Arts«, illustrated with 100 color sample plates with ornaments in all styles and periods. Drawing on Owen’s plates, Silke Radenhausen rearranges the patterns according to her own criteria, making them manageable and redefining them as part of feminine practice.

Silke Radenhausen

* 1937 Berlin, D
† 2024 Kiel, D

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