Hand-tufted rug (wool, canvas), 247 x 284 cm
Lawrence O'Hana Gallery is pleased to present a series of new works by German artist Caroline Achaintre - her first major solo exhibition in London. In a selection of large-scale mounted rugs Achaintre contrasts the homely associations of the heavy woollen surfaces with sinister imagery frequently borrowed from heavy metal album covers, bringing to mind the dark obsessions of teenagers.
Achaintre's work frequently mimics the kitsch, yet carefully engineered, menace of elaborate and grotesque face painting. In a unique rug entitled "Dead Ringer" natural wool colours rub up against artificial candy-floss pink and acid yellow as a spectral image looms out of the shag pile - a lurid apparition both disconcerting and cosmetically stylish. Hovering between the deliberate and haphazard Achaintre's colourful images often reveal the ghost of digital manipulation and are reminiscent of Rorschachian inkblots, random shapes used in personality tests. With these tests a subject's interpretation of an intentionally ambiguous form is seen as the key to the deepest recesses of their mind. But here Achaintre twists the psychoanalytic pretext of the Rorschach test, as the pictures that emerge through the symmetrical colour separation hint at the glamorised "Uncanny" of heavy metal bands such as Kiss, Slipknot, The Insane Clown Posse and Marilyn Manson.
The theme of psychological fragmentation is continued in a series of works on paper, which are also on show. With these small works watercolour and computer drawings appear as if melted by some sinister force. Here as with the rugs, the colour-saturated playfulness carries a sense of threat.
Caroline Achaintre lives and works in London. She has previously exhibited at Mirko Mayer Galerie, Cologne and Galerie Kohlenhof, Nürnberg, Germany. Group Shows include: "The Unhomely" Kettles Yard, Cambridge; "Fear it, do it anyway" Vilma Gold Gallery, London.
Exhibition: 16 September - 24 October 2004
Gallery Hours: Wed-Sun 10 am - 6 pm, or by appointment
Lawrence O'Hana Gallery
35/42 Charlotte Road
UK-London EC2A 3PD
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