Laced: New Paintings by Christina Niederberger
Curated by Dr Joanna Gore: Exhibition 10th Jan – 8th Feb: Private View Friday 9th Jan 6-9 pm
C&C Gallery are proud to present Laced New Paintings by Christina Niederberger. Niederberger juxtaposes formal structures with the use of domestic, ‘kitsch’ and often ‘feminine’ materials, thereby confusing our sense of belonging; exposing and blurring lines of art history, class and gender identity. The new selection of works in ‘Laced’ playfully subverts the techniques and vehicles used as key identifiers in modernist painting whilst we watch a blooming of opposites, antithesis and contradictions be born from the canvas.
Niederberger’s painting does not mimic that which comes before but uses a vast array of stylistic and formal signifiers that reach us on a less than conscious level. Her use of such indicators triggers visual memories while at the same time confuses thought patterns as she deliberately recreates them with new gestures, techniques and palettes to arrive at re-interpretations of those things around us and the stylistic devices of iconic paintings that have gone before. Niederberger however focuses in on opposite traits and aims of her modernist predecessors, often identifying and highlighting elements previously used for ‘background’ or technique, a little like drawing perspective rather than using it to demonstrate distance. For example in her painting based on Picasso’s Still Life with Guitar and Mandolin, instead of using the hard edged geometric lines characteristic of many abstract works, Niederberger has followed those lines with lace and shading, subverting the clean edged colour with a highly domestic and feminine material, thereby highlighting the very signature that makes it abstract. White on White is not focused on geometric dead-pan forms as with Russian Suprematist Kasimir Malevich, in fact it is quite the opposite, white flowers protrude from the surface like the exaggerated texture reminiscent of flowers we find in Victorian crochet. The geometric form becomes obsolete to the point of non-existence, instead we are faced with a highly decorated luxurious ‘randomness’ that remarkably, reminds us of what went before whilst showing us what can come.
Niederberger sits on the edge of change, both celebrating a formulistic masculinity whilst welcoming in a feminine softness that both holds its own in the critical discourse of gender politics and ‘other’ while encompassing the intellectual dialectics of formal painting. A ‘holistic’ and inclusive approach, that challenges without exclusion or criticism, often attempted by others but rarely accomplished, C&C Gallery are proud to present works such as Niederberger’s in their program.
Born in Switzerland, Christina Niederberger graduated with an MA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College; University of London in 2002 receiving the Warden’s Prize. In 2009 she was awarded a PhD from Goldsmiths College (title of her written thesis: The Quest for Heimat: discourses on kitsch in the realm of art practice). She has been awarded an A.H.R.B and A.H.R.C award and has been shortlisted twice for the Aeschlimann/Corti Stipendium (Switzerland) and in 2014 for 100 Painters of Tomorrow. She has exhibited widely in Switzerland, London, Germany and the USA. Niederberger’s work has been selected for exhibitions in public galleries such as the Kunstmuseum Thun, Kunsthaus Langenthal, the Kunsthalle in Bern, the Centre Pasqu’Art in Biel and Villa Grisebach in Berlin. Her work is represented in the Government Art Collection, the museum für Medien und Kommunikation, Bern, Inselspital Bern and the Hoffmann-La-Roche Collection as well as in private collections in the U.K., U.S., Switzerland and Canada.