Anne von Freyburg’s practice rethinks textile and the decorative within the tradition of painting. It embraces and subverts the female gaze, the feminine and pretty. Historically, craft and decoration have been perceive as lesser than the “intellectual” fine arts. By combining them, von Freyburg challenges this underlying hierarchical system.
At the same time, the artist reclaims the female history of textiles, the feminine, the pretty, decoration, the domestic and female nude. “I paint with materials,” observes von Freyburg.
Embellishment has been associated with the feminine, frivolous, and excessive, and was thus repressed within the rhetoric of Modernism. Detailing and fabric were viewed as decorative extras.
von Freyburg recent work translates old masters paintings from the Rococo period into paintings constructed of a mixture of tapestry and contemporary fashion fabrics. With these works von Freyburg attempts to raise questions about taste, femininity, high and low art and the constructs of female identity. Her work is a celebration of the sensual, textural and visual pleasures of materials and ornaments. Besides its visual pleasures it can also be read as a comment on excessive consumerist’s behaviour and self-indulgence.
Through her work, she seeks a renewed significance and meaning of the decorative, detail and fabric while celebrating the feminine. Von Freyburg is part of a group of artists seeking a renewed significance and meaning around crafted materials.