LIMIT: New works by Zsofia Schweger
While Zsofia Schweger’s current exhibition grew from a prolonged period spent indoors in 2020-21, her engagement with interior spaces in general and the concept of home in particular is well established. In the past, she typically made paintings of unpeopled rooms, which highlighted notions of nostalgia, alienation and absence; however, in her newest body of work she confronts constant presence as a result of spatial confinement. Her work grapples with monotonous sights and routines, but restriction combined with repetition provide an opportunity for experimentation: boredom is transformed into play.
During quarantine, the home replaces the studio as the site of artmaking, and thus out of necessity, Schweger turns to materials new to her practice: she makes works on paper, using coloured paper and colour pencils. These small-scale, postcard-size works can be made sitting at the kitchen table, and unlike painting, the process is dry and clean, and the tools are easy to pack away. This domestic set-up suggests questions about the hierarchy of materials, and in this context, Schweger’s decision to focus on works on paper rather than canvas can be seen as meaningful. She locates value in the repetitive process of cutting, gluing and colouring. Keeping the compositions near-constant, with the same sofa, armchair and bed appearing over and over again, she plays with colour and geometric shapes. Despite the limited nature of materials and motifs, the process of repetition is freeing. Instead of re-enforcing boredom, it leads to new discoveries
The extreme repetition of these images brings attention to each minor element that comprises them. In the same way that a word repeated ad infinitum begins to lose meaning, in Schweger’s block paintings, these repeated compositions begin to unravel completely, they fall to pieces. These works are made up of loose pieces of shaped wood, only held together by their frames. The block paintings are much like children’s puzzle games: they provide an opportunity to see each component simultaneously in isolation and as part of the wider whole. The 2D shape becomes a 3D body, form becomes feeling.
Informed by these playful processes and with a widened colour palette, Schweger’s eventual return to the studio results in new acrylic on canvas paintings of her home environment. These paintings aim to spotlight the everyday. The represented spaces are inviting but empty; familiar but alien; private but - through these paintings - they are made public.
Zsofia Schweger’s solo show Limit is on view from 1st December to 11th February at INDA Gallery in Budapest.
34. Király utca II/4.
Budapest, Hungary 1061