Lotte Schulz (1925 - )

Festival de hamacas (1993)
Festival of Hammocks

Wood engraving on tissue paper
height: 62.5cm
width: 50.4cm

Donated by Lotte Schulz 1996


This wood engraving from the first Hammocks series represents a development of ideas Lotte Schulz first explored in the 1960s concerning the curving geometry of natural forms but here instead of a theme from nature she chooses an artefact - the hammock. She is fascinated by the hammock as a household object of indigenous origin but now used by all sectors of Paraguayan society. She describes it as being like a large heart that can expand to embrace all those who want to enter in, as a place where people sleep, make love, play and relax alone or in company. Here the hammocks are empty, curving gently against the fine vertical lines from which they are suspended.

The apparent simplicity of this image disguises a sophisticated engagement with one of the twentieth century's recurrent preoccupations: the tension between abstraction and representation. The forms are simplified and abstracted until they verge on pure geometry, and while the overlapping hammocks suggest recession across an arcaded patio the viewer is constantly brought up short by the impossibility of interpreting this in terms of real space. It is more a dialogue between the flat surface and possibilities art offers of creating new multi-dimensional worlds. As in her other works in ESCALA this piece demonstrates Schulz's skilful manipulation of the possibilities of the medium.

Valerie Fraser, 2008

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