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'undercurrent' by Leda Bourgogne at Loggia, Munich

In her exhibition undercurrent at Loggia Leda Bourgogne allows grand gestures to meet delicate—at the same time hardly less forceful—expressions, and through this correspondence develops a spatial structure that is interwoven in both form and content. Surprisingly dense, she covers the walls with her signature fabric paintings and a selection of drawings, covers the floor entirely with soft carpet in various shades of red, and allows a fragile installation of flower columns to grow down from the ceiling. With this transformation and appropriation of space, she invites us into an intimate atmosphere in which the undertones and subliminals in her works become all the more tangible. The title of the exhibition also refers to these undercurrent that emerge from the surface.

The view from outside the window is veiled by the work Coil, whose semi-transparent gauze background is embroidered with patterns reminiscent of woven spider webs or broken glass. A black rope curls around the crosses of the stretcher. Throughout these subtle gestures the artist combines language, form, and materiality in her works, creating an aura of the implicit and ambiguous.

Within the sensitive examination of textiles, an artistic focus on the physical becomes clear in the handling of the carefully selected materials and their textures. The fabrics were painted on with various techniques or transformed with needle and thread. Sometimes pictorial motifs emerge as Bourgogne deforms her material, perceptibly pushing its limits. The significance of skin as a central, fragile sensory organ crystallizes as the focus of her reflections. Parts erased by bleach (Velvet Baby I), mistreated and lashed together material (Blur), and seams evoke associations of wrinkles, burns, and scars. In their directness, these radical interventions appeal to the experiences of touch, illness, and injury as facets of transience. At the same time, however, the delicate thread guides—adorned with feathers and shells—also give rise to creative drawings.

Bourgogne also conveys ambivalent impressions in her drawings, in which the figurative remains unclearly delineated. Chameleon, for example, leaves open whether the body adapts to its surroundings or is overpowered by them. This interlocking of body and space, of micro and macro structures, forms a central aspect in Bourgogne’s work. Virtuoso movements of a spine in Butterfly Effect become independent, taking on an individual dynamic with an unknown end. In the painting The Emptiness Of My Heart Fills Me With Infinity the various strands of the exhibition come together for the artist. The contours of a heart blur; negating essential veins and arteries, the plexus of veins oscillates until it becomes an emptied pattern. Melancholic on the one hand, this poetic title of the work is to be understood positively against the background of Buddhist philosophy and in relation to Leda Bourgogne’s work. The void as fulfillment, as a galaxy that holds an inexhaustible potential of possibilities.

— Aline Fieker & Marijana Schneider

25.3.22 — 15.5.22

Curated by Aline Fieker & Marijana Schneider

Photo by Marcin Kowaluk, Roman März | Courtesy the artist, Loggia & BQ, Berlin

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