PRISKA C. JUSCHKA FINE ART
In her current exhibition, Constanze Schweiger brings together two seemingly incongruous bodies of work, "Chameleons", a photographic series, and Quilt Paintings, a series of paintings based on quilt pattern sample blocks. However, the intention of this parallelization emerges from the understanding of Schweiger's process, which is determined by the outcome of her social interactions and personal engagements. This process was previously examined in Schweiger's Friends series, when portraits of her acquaintances were coupled with abstract paintings mimicking the individual's stylistic-palette.
In "Chameleons", Schweiger presents six photographs of people posing in urban environs, dressed in uniformly-colored clothing that matches their background. The models are the artist's personal acquaintances, therefore the frankness in which they react to her camera is not derived from a professional mannerism, but from the intimate association they have developed with her.
In Schweiger's work, the emphasis is put on the process of collaboration leading to the final image. In this series the individuality of the models is manifested through the clothing they chose and its affinity to their surroundings. Through the artist's knowledge of her model's nature, she can create an image of abstraction based on individual aesthetic.
In the Quilt Paintings series, Schweiger recreates a pattern quilt, which is a quilt composed of pieces of block patterns collected by women over the years as examples of the patterns they have used and invented for their quilts. These block patterns were fragments of a quilt, and could only be passed over to Friends and fellow quilt-makers through the samples. The exchanges and quilt-making became a central social event for women.
Similar to the collaborative process of "Chameleons", these paintings represent a history of social activities and personal involvement. Furthermore, much like the transitional process the photographs display from a highly personalized and aestheticized image to an abstract one, the paintings exhibit a flattening of the decorative elements of which the original quilt is comprised of, becoming abstract presentations with an inherent formalistic quality.
Constanze Schweiger studied in Vienna and Maastricht. In 2001 she was selected for the International Studio Program at New York's PS1, where she also participated in the 2002 exhibition Listening to New Voices. In 2003 she had her first solo show, Friends, at Priska C. Juschka Fine Art. In 2004 she participated in a residency at the MAK Schindler House in Los Angeles. She currently lives and works in Vienna and Paris.
Gallery hours: Tuesday through Saturday 11:00 to 6:00 PM or by appointment.