Seeking new meaning in something that already has its use and functionality is a dominant driving force behind the work of Frauke Dannert, a young German artist who’s chosen collage as her central medium. In her crafty hands, everyday materials like newspapers, photocopies, images from the Internet, all of them completely functional images, become something new, as the artist confronts her own order in the pictures to the entropy and chaos of the universe. When exhibiting, she often transforms the walls of the galleries, making them available for experience and questioning the perception of space in viewers. These illusions tear apart the reality, creating a tension between what’s real and what’s simulated.
All the materials Dannert uses in her practice, the newspaper cuttings, images from the Internet, photocopies, all have their functionality, but in the process of an almost infinite reproduction lose their value. But, not for long. Through her collages, they gain a new meaning and become valuable once again. The background is also important, as it embellishes her artworks with materiality and color. Similar to the materials used for collages, the backgrounds are often made of pieces of copper, pressboard or simple old wood panels. Dannert disassembles and re-compositions old architecture photos, creating the brand new image forms that seem quite surreal. What makes her art stand out is the fact that she, in the age of digital images and their reproduction, purposely uses simpler materials and chooses a method of production that requires hands and the direct use of the papers and photographs.
Dannert was born in Herdecke and has an extensive art education. She studied Fine Arts at the Art Academy in Munich and Fine Arts at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf, Class of Prof. Thomas Grünfeld, before completing her MFA at Goldsmith College in London in 2010. She has exhibited extensively, both as a solo artist and as a part of the group shows. Dannert won the first prize in the Audi Art Award in 2012 and is also a winner of several other awards and grants, including the travel grant the Art Association of the Rhineland and Westphalia, Dusseldorf in 2012 and the residence scholarship Ringberg Castle of NRW. Her artworks are included in several prestigious collections, e.g. Deutsche Bundesbank in Frankfurt, Sammlung Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf, and Kunstsammlung der Landesbank Hessen – Thüringen.
By playing with the viewer’s perception of space, the artist creates a tension between what’s real and what’s simulated. Her practice is based on the collages, but her installations in galleries emphasize that tension and the conflict between the order and chaos. What seem like simple everyday materials lose their value in Dannert’s hands, but shortly after gain a new meaning and get transformed into collages that challenge the viewers to think again about the space they live in.
She is represented by Lisabird Contemporary in Vienna.
Featured image: Frauke Dannert – portrait.
All images courtesy of Lisabird Contemporary.