Exhibition of works from 2000 until today by Ann Böttcher on view at Malmö Konsthall this winter

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Exhibition of works from 2000 until today by Ann Böttcher on view at Malmö Konsthall this winter
Ann Böttcher, Urwaldwildnis in Deutschen Landen, von Walther Schoenichen (1934), 2008. 16 fotogravyrer. Courtesy konstnären & Galerie Nordenhake Stockholm/Berlin/Mexico City. Photo: Helene Toresdotter.

MALMO.- Malmö Konsthall presents this winter's exhibition Ann Böttcher Works 2000-2021 which will be shown between 4.12 - 27.2 2022.

Ann Böttcher (b. 1973) works in Malmö, and has mainly received recognition for her meticulously executed pencil drawings. Other techniques she works with include collage, weaving, and installations. For many years, Böttcher has taken an interest in how identities are formed–culturally, nationally, and historically. Her works often point to connections from the past to the present, between our common, shared history and our individual, personal ones. This retrospective exhibition, Verk 2000–2021 [Works 2000–21], presents the full range of her oeuvre, from her intimate pencil drawings to her sculptural works, which she often executes in a far larger scale.

In Böttcher’s detailed pencil drawings, she has allowed nature to grow, slowly, on the surface of the paper. The effort, concentration, and time that went into depicting this subject seem infused into the drawing itself. Böttcher first rose to fame in the early 2000s thanks to her fascinating portraits of trees–often spruces–over a white backdrop. These pencil drawings were created during the breaks she took while she was a student at Konstfack in Stockholm–breaks from making art. They became a way for her to try to return, mentally, to the forests of her childhood; another way of achieving the mental state of being in nature. Ann Böttcher grew up in Bruzaholm in the north of Småland.

Böttcher made her first textile work in 2006/8, and since then, she has introduced traditional crafts techniques like embroidery, weaving, and crochet, as well as collaborations with Handarbetets Vänner [Friends of Handicraft], to her oeuvre. These techniques involve similar rhythms and concentration levels as drawing; they emphasise repetition and meditation. In her abstract, textile works, Böttcher has felt able to work more intuitively, more freely–and this includes her approach to colours and their various energies. One of her textile works, The Journey and the Harbour (Återbrukerskan), which is featured prominently in the exhibition, usually hangs in the auditorium of the Vipan secondary school in Lund. The title and the execution of the piece both allude to the days when the present-day school building was part of the Vipeholm hospital for the intellectually disabled (1935–82).

For the exhibition at Malmö Konsthall, she has created a new artwork based on Goethe’s colour wheel. It consists of rags that were left over from the production of The Journey and the Harbour (Återbrukerskan), and which have been stored in the artist’s studio ever since.

Although Böttcher employs a variety of expressions and techniques, the works are all united by the fact that they address the same underlying issues. They become portraits of, or perhaps rather symbols of, the ways that identity, power, and ideology are generated and exercised in society.

Curated by Theodor Ringborg and Mats Stjernstedt. An earlier edition of the exhibition was shown at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm 3 February–23 May 2021.

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