SOFT!

26 April - 4 July 2020

Opening of the exhibition "SOFT!" on Sunday the 7th of June at 15.00 by Errol van de Werdt, director Textile Museum.

 

Soft! The title of the exhibition refers in particular to the use of materials by three female artists and designers who work at the intersection of both disciplines: Marjolein Mandersloot, Mae Engelgeer and Joana Schneider. They present textile works in all possible applications, shapes, colors and even disguises.

 

 

Marjolijn Mandersloot makes new work that again creates a pleasant confusion, a humorous twist. Beastie Boys for example, consists of two meerkats that look like tough adolescent boys, whose leather jackets and pants appear to be kneaded in clay but are as soft as leather and cowhide. A cute cub-like animal has more than lifelike proportions and seems to camouflage itself with a dotted skin of soft, pliable cowhide.

The artist gives animals recognizable human forms and attitudes, in which she plays a game with the viewer. She blows up proportions, omits details, highlights figure parts, and opts for material expressions with surprising tactility. Her heavy bronze statues seem to be made of liquid candle wax, soft rubber or cuddly leather. However, for this exhibition she turns it around: the objects appear massive but are handmade of leather and animal skin. Ambiguity displaces recognisability; it stimulates the viewer to new interpretations.

 

Jewelry for the room

Mae Engelgeer is often commissioned to create floor and wall tapestries that have her characteristic handwriting and that have an applied function in the interior. For Rademakers Gallery she makes free work. For the new architectural objects, the textile designer elaborates on Lavish, the acoustic panels of graphic jacquard woven textile presented in 2019. As a starting point she took small test pieces that she weaved in the TextielLab in Tilburg as a material and color study. She weaves these beautifully finished woven strips together again until a kind of braid is created.

These intriguing, ribbed three-dimensional works are characterized by their aesthetic compositions and soft and surprising color combinations. Mae combines the voluminous hanging, lying or standing textile one-offs with, for example, high-contrast marble or onyx as a carrier. It results in exciting objects, jewelry for the space.

 

For her new works Joana Schneider was inspired by Mexican altars as you can find
during El dia de los muertos (Day of the dead) on the first and second of November.
Tables with paper rugs, flowers, food and drinks, are an exuberant colorful ode to the
beloved deceased. The execution, textures, patterns, and bright-colored flower shapes
are reflected in "Mantis”. The construction is literally more open and organic than we
know from her earlier work: the masks of colorful fishing ropes of recycled polypropylene
and yarns of recycled PET bottles from the port of Katwijk. From this thick rope she
already made several series such as Totem and Bruder; powerfully shaped heads with
dramatic, theatrical, endearing and clownish expressions. Also Mantis, My friend inside

and SoftCore show traces of their previous life in the sea; the rough weathered rope and
the nets carry traces of use and oil, and are characterized by an enormous power of
expression. In the new work Joana Schneider investigates the space between the ropes.
Mantis and My friend inside evoke associations with the exuberant exotic nature, with
insects with cuddly furs and shiny eyes in the brightest contrasting colors. Softcore, on
the other hand, has a more pop-like character through the daring use of bright glossy
colors mixed with the rough, unprocessed rope.

 

Jan Koen Lomans is an interdisciplinary visual artist working with nature as a contemplative motive for his research and collaboration projects. He depicts this theme in a range of ways, by making it tangible in installations. To Lomans collaboration is key and a necessity to transform his innovative ideas into artwork and installations. In which textile is often the chosen medium.

Lomans develops for over fifteen years Tapestries in collaboration with the TextileLab of the Dutch Textile museum. In the tapestries natural phenomena are arising in different forms and colours. In the tapestries of the Im Abendrot series Lomans shows us  the golden hour into shimmering warm red golden wall carpets. Inspired by the eponymous and deeply moving romantic musical piece by Richard Strauss and referring to Turner's exquisite, delicately painted skies at sunrise or sunset.