Dutch Artist Anne von Freyburg Reimagines Sumptuous Rococo Masterpieces

Dutch Artist Anne von Freyburg Reimagines Sumptuous Rococo Masterpieces cover

Perched on a swing, a young woman in a frilly pink frock flies through the air, losing her matching pink slipper along the way. Her lover, lying on the ground and partially hidden by an overgrown rose bush, peers up, bewitched by the sight of the woman’s open skirts.

Dutch artist Anne von Freyburg reimagines Fragonard’s saucy Rococo masterpiece “The Swing” as “Oops! I made you lose your head,” the sumptuous feminist centerpiece of her recent solo show, Papillotage. On view at London’s HOFA Gallery through Feb. 14, Papillotage features hand-embroidered textiles that revive the hedonistic pleasures of 18th-century Rococo artists with candy colors, silky fabrics, and an embarrassment of sequins.

Anne von Freyburg with ‘Oops! I Made You Lose Your Head (After Fragonard, The Swing)’
‘Oops! I Made You Lose Your Head (After Fragonard, The Swing)’ (detail)

Named after the quintessential Rococo technique of papillotage—a flickering of the eye caused by a brilliant imagethe exhibition includes 14 new textile works reinterpreted from Rococo masters Fragonard, Boucher, and Le Brun. "In this new body of work that is both visceral and seductive, I allow myself the freedom to use any shape, form, color, or material that I desire and take pleasure from, hoping to ignite a spark or even fire in others,” says Anne of the exhibition.

With a background in fashion design, Anne translates the pastel colors and lighthearted eroticisms of Rococo into dimensional wall hangings crafted from tapestry fabrics, colorful inks, and hanging tassels. Blending fantasy and reality, the Rococo artists painted scenes of everyday life for the uber wealthy, who are shown cavorting through cotton candy-colored gardens in frilly dresses and powdered wigs. The movement is often criticized for its lighthearted frivolity and association with “unimportant” feminine activities. In Papillotage, Anne reclaims the narrative, using a traditionally feminine craft—textiles and embroidery—to recast these painted Rococo women as the agents of their own desires. "I have always been interested in freeing myself from limiting thoughts on femininity and the feminine aesthetic,” she says, “by making art that is unrestrained and unapologetic in its use of color, shape, and material."

"I have always been interested in freeing myself from limiting thoughts on femininity and the feminine aesthetic by making art that is unrestrained and unapologetic in its use of color, shape, and material." — Anne von Freyburg

‘Sun Kissed (After Fragonard, Venus with Doves)’
‘Sun Kissed (After Fragonard, Venus with Doves)’ (detail)
‘Smile Like You Mean It (After Boucher)’
‘Smile Like You Mean It (After Boucher)’ (detail)
‘Hot Stuff (After Boucher, Reclining Nude)’
‘Hot Stuff (After Boucher, Reclining Nude)’ (detail)
‘Ladidadida (After Boucher, Venus with Doves)’
‘Ladidadida (After Boucher, Venus with Doves)’ (detail)
Sharp on the Edges (After Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun)
Sharp on the Edges (After Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun)
Anne von Freyburg with ‘Oops! I Made You Lose Your Head (After Fragonard, The Swing)’

Anne von Freyburg: Website | Instagram | Facebook

All photos published with permission of the artist(s); photos: Martin Maybank.

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Tags

rococo, textile art, wall hanging, wall sculpture


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