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Ptolemy Mann has been researching the work of Lundstrøm and Juhl in Denmark first hand. From this investigation she has developed a series of hand dyed and woven artworks, paintings and ‘Thread Paintings’ inspired by Lundstrøm and Juhl’s use of colour.

August 2023

The Danish and Scandinavian aesthetic abroad has become synonymous with a desaturated colour palette. It is therefore surprising to learn about the work of Lundstrom and Juhl and a time in the 1940’s and 50’s in Denmark when a vibrant, Modernist colour palette was prominent in both their work.

Finn Juhl thought of colour as an ’emotional trigger’ and it’s this emotional approach to colour that interests me. When viewing their work now, it strikes me how timeless it is and how the current resurgence of stronger more saturated colour in art, culture and interiors brings a new appreciation of their aesthetic.

Through a series of hand dyed and woven artworks, paintings on paper and canvas, my intention is to create a series of wall based artworks, exploring the relationship between desaturated and saturated colour and the notion of colour as an emotional trigger.

I would also like to evolve further a new technique, I am developing where I paint in acrylic on top of the hand dyed and woven cloth, therefore combining both weaving and painting together in a new way. I feel this specific technique also echoes the relationship between Juhl as a designer and Lundstrom as a painter.
The linear restriction of the slow weaving process on a dobby loom (personified by Juhl’s modernist furniture design) creates the ‘canvas’ and is consequently contrasted and added to with the quick gestural expression in paint over the top (echoing Lundstrøm’s paintings).

The intention is to create a series of 25-30 smaller scale (aprox 40 x 40cm each) artworks of the same size each exploring a slightly different technique and aspect of this relationship. I will also focus on a more complex and time consuming technique of using double cloth blocks in contrasting colour which run over the ground cloth. The risk factor of painting on top of the woven art works means a higher rate of potentially unsuccessful outcomes but also brings a sense of jeopardy to the making process.

The resulting work will be shown at Galleri Lene Bilgrav in Aarhus, Denmark in 2024