‘Wall Hangings’ at Les Gens Heureux
Currently on the walls of the very romantic 1909 artist’s atelier that is Les Gens Heureux – a three-year-old Copenhagen art gallery founded by Sanne Frank and Anneli Häkkinen – is a simply stunning exhibition of textile wall hangings. It’s the kind of show we’d have trouble not touching, if we were lucky enough to see it in the flesh, as each piece – by the four renowned international artists Mimi Jung, Confettisystem, Amateurs, and Clarisse Demory – is a complete celebration of texture, craft and materials.
While the group of wall hangings is entirely complementary – all embracing tactility and making, colour and composition, each artist has their own unique take on the craft of weaving and the works are very different. Mimi Jung’s pieces, which are from her Shadow and Palm series, are inspired directly by materials and are closer to a form of painting than traditional weaving. Expressive and with a strong point of view, the South Korean artist’s wavy purple and cream compositions, with their brush like flicks and woven texture that pops out almost like oil paint, are inspired by the abundance of discarded palm fronds that are found near her home in Los Angeles. Rather than focusing on execution of technique (though that of course is equally impressive) these are about sharing a personal vision and evoking feeling.
Then there’s Confettisystem – made up of artist/stylist/designer duo Nicholas Andersen and Julie Ho – whose work is about nostalgia, play and celebration, transforming simple materials like tissue paper, cardboard, and silk into very interactive pieces that spark collaboration with the viewer. Different to the sense of permanence in Mimi’s work, something to hang on the wall forever, Confettisystem’s creations are light and papery and somewhat ephemeral. Just imagine the perfectness of these pieces – with their thin layers and exquisitely vibrant colours – hanging in a breeze.
The knotted ribbons by Clarisse Demory, which offer us something more gentle in their pastel tones and soft material but at the same time complement Confettisystem’s joyous wall hangings so well, show yet another take on the art and craft of weaving. Here the layering of strips, in sweet blues, pinks, creams, is quiet and subtle in composition, and no doubt reflecting her upbringing in the northern countryside of France.
For Amateur, Parisian couple Jin Angdoo and Mathieu Julien, material is also important, but perhaps not quite as important as the act of discovery itself. In their wall hangings, from the ‘A Flag for Every Home’ series, we see big shapes and bold colours and work that falls somewhere between art and design. Based on the idea that very home is a micronation, with its inhabitant as its ruler and that every nation needs an emblem, the flags are very much about experimentation. This is a team who are constantly exploring new disciplines and methods, using different materials and processes, tools and techniques, just to see what happens – and we’re very glad they do.
Between soft knots and paper layers, tightly woven threads and block prints, it’s a show of utter variation and truly wonderful texture, simple beauty and inspired makers. Here, the ordinary becomes extraordinary and it’s well worth celebrating.
Les Gens Heureux Gallery
Store Strandstræde 19 5.
Credits: Les Gens Heureux