Mette Winckelmann Interview: Woman to Woman

”You must evaluate whether the system you’re part of could be effectuated differently.” Meet artist Mette Winckelmann who believes that abstract painting communicates deeper than language and explore her visual take on gender politics.

”It’s hard to comprehend when a political conviction is delivered through an abstract expression instead of saying it directly,” Mette Winckelmann states. There are no slogans or overtly political imagery in her geometric paintings, yet a clear feminist message is the inspiration behind. Her group of works entitled ’I Like Older Women’ was based on a political badge found at the Lesbian Herstory Archives in New York City. Winckelmann moulded the forms and colours of the badge into her large-scale painting as a representation of gender politics.

”I see the visual space as a more open space, a space where you can change things. It’s a kind of direct route into the human being,” says Winckelmann, who prefers to work outside of language. By using materials and techniques from arts and crafts Winckelmann’s work comes to reflect female traditions of working with materials. The patchwork tradition, a language passed on through generations of women, plays a large part in the artist’s work as a challenge to the mainstream history of abstract art. ”The immediately fascinating thing about what interests you – that’s the layer you have to delve under, that’s where you start,” says the artist. ”You start out with something that fascinates you and that fascination needs to develop into a deep engagement in many more layers that materialize along the way, when you’ve worked with it for a long time. That’s when it opens up and you know it so well that nuances appear.”

Mette Winckelmann (b. 1971) is a Danish artist whose work explores abstraction in various media, such as painting, fabric collages, concrete walls and flags. She has exhibited across the world, e.g. at AROS, Aarhus, Denmark, Moderna Museet, Malmö, Sweden and MoA Seoul, South Korea. Her work is held in the collections of SMK, the National Gallery of Denmark, FRAC, Auvergne, France and The Danish Art Foundation.

Mette Winckelmann was interviewed by Christian Lund in her studio and at Moderna Museet, Malmö, Sweden, in connection with the exhibition ’Society Acts’, September 2014.

Installation shots from the exhibitions ’Come Undone’, Overgaden. Institute of Contemporary Art, 2016, and ’Welcome Hand’, Avlskarl Gallery, Copenhagen, 2016.

Photos of ’Faith and Superstition’, Viborg Kunsthal, 2013, by Torben Petersen.

Camera: Klaus Elmer Edited by: Klaus Elmer Produced by: Christian Lund Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2017

Supported by Nordea-fonden

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