Bernadette Schweihoff

Animal Forms

Text: Sara Umbreit, Photos: Bernadette Schweihoff

A wolf in sheep's clothing: Bernadette Schweihoff. A quick glance across her works leaves us already calculating how such profound and ambiguous shapes came to be.

The experimental works of art ‘Animal Forms’ by Berlin-based artist Bernadette Schweihoff introduce something comical and fresh to the art world, often known for losing its touch of lightheartedness and humour all too quickly. It was during her stay in New York for a year that the animals began to show themselves to Schweihoff. Their abstract representations often leave the viewer some space for their own interpretation. These special and intriguing animals become personal favourites, reserving the prime real estate on every the wall they cross.

Every shape of an animal is daring and unique - additionally the way they are presented too, with a special manufacturing process in which the animals eventually find their place:
With great effort and detail, Schweihoff uses several media's - the most dominant being paper taken from New York newspapers and magazines she prepares in special processing. The Animal Forms drawn from Tusche and Gesso always peak the printed words beneath. Images and illustrations of the New Yorker also feature, and represent the artworks’ present-day setting which becomes even more special over time. The letters tell of a reality that the individual cannot escape. This mix of cubist-naive animals with newspaper printing gives the works their very own expression which one can’t help to study more than once.

It takes several days to weeks until the foundations are ready to be implemented into the works, with drying time playing a very important role. In her figural works Schweihoff is inspired by street art, comics, the Mayans and her childhood. Her projects, always travel to a theme of memory. Stories that the artist has experienced, read or dreamed of. She learned her craft at Robert Cenedella in New York. Additionally she has just released "Artbastard" a film: In 2014, Bernadette Schweihoff presented her work at the Museum Moderner Kunst Wörlen in a sole exhibition.

Text: Sara Umbreit