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Rodney LaTourelle
Anne Low at The Taut and Tame in Berlin
December 11, 2012

On display at Galerie Lüttgenmeijer's project space, The Taut and Tame, Anne Low's exhibition Some Rugs and Blankets presents an arrangement of recent textile work. Four rugs and one blanket hang on the main exhibition wall, two fitted curtains hang in relation to the opposite window wall, and two tea-towels casually hold forth over an existing ceramic backsplash. A self-taught weaver, Low works with a floor loom and develops colour schemes and patterns in process. While textiles have become increasingly common in contemporary exhibitions over the last years, often as a cipher for gender relations, historicity, or cross-cultural interaction, Low's weavings are presented as weavings, maintaining aesthetic, functional, and "objective" qualities.

Anne Low

The motifs here range from stripes and colour fields to complex grid patterns that evoke an early Modern sensibility. Some of the rugs are detailed with fine coloured blobs that hint at ad-hoc imperfection with a sophisticated touch while recalling 1960s abstraction. The "modern" connection is extended by the gallery space: a sense of transparency is highlighted between inside and outside, situated as it is in a classic post-war modern housing block designed by Max Taut. In relation to this specific space, Low's textiles provoke one to consider the socio-political and aesthetic legacy of movements such as the Bauhaus. One might place the exhibition in the context of an increasing tendency in recent culture towards an anti-consumerist, craft-conscious position focused on self-determination that has gathered momentum since the 2008 economic crisis. However, what is most refreshing in this work is the direct aesthetic tactility that offers much more than nostalgia for a simple moment. Elegant and vibrant, the hand-woven compositions reflect a contemporary environment where cultural production is more concerned with an open matrix of forces across traditional categories rather than a reactionary devolution or solipsistic relay of references.

The Taut and Tame:
Anne Low: Some Rugs and Blankets continues until December 22.

Rodney LaTourelle lives and works in Berlin as an artist, designer, and writer. His writing on art and architecture has been published in numerous periodicals and artist catalogues. His installations have been exhibited internationally and his work is included in collections such as the National Gallery of Canada and Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg. He is Akimblog's Berlin correspondent and can be followed @RoddyLT.



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