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Black Square (Tiefschwarz) #3

by Margrethe Odgaard

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A graphic reproduction of Textile and Colour Designer Margrethe Odgaard’s textile series “Black Squares (Tiefschwarz)” was first exhibited as part of Odgaard’s solo exhibition at Munkeruphus in 2019.

The mesmerizing display of color is obtained through a laborious textile printing process. The three works are done in completely the same way, but given the nature of the dyeing process, subtle changes in temperature and moisture, they become powerful individual works.

Malevich’s painting ‘Black Square’ from 1915 is often referred to as point zero of the painting. Instead of looking at the black color as a reset black hole, ‘Black Squares (Tiefschwarz)’ seeks to show new depths and shades of the black color.
By letting go of absolute control in the dying process and letting the materials take over part of the process, the color steps out of the empty black nothingness and into a world full of drama and poetry.

Through experiments, Odgaard developed a reactive dyeing technique that allows the dyestuff to continue working after the finished printing.

By leaving the thickener out of the printing recipe and sprinkling the black dyestuff directly onto the wet fabric soaked in chemicals, Odgaard obtained a technique where the dyestuff migrates to the fabric’s dryer parts. As a result, the black dyestuff reveals turquoise and pink tones at the edge of the otherwise jet black Tiefschwarz pigment.

About the artist

Textile and colour designer Margrethe Odgaard apply herself to the sensual quality of colour in the surface. She works with colour as a full, sensory perception and believes that products made with the intention of nourishing the body and mind will have a positive impact on the viewer. With her intense focus on the interaction of colour, material and space, she aims to become clearer about how we as humans experience and emotionally connect with the world around us.

Odgaard shares her time equally between commercial collaborations and an artistic practice based on self-initiated research. On her client list is companies as Kvadrat, Muuto, Montana, HAY, and IKEA, and her exhibition catalogue includes solo exhibitions at Willumsen’s Museum (DK), Röhsska Museum (SE), Designmuseo Helsinki (FI), and Munkeruphus (DK). In 2015 she received the Three-year work grant from The Danish Arts Foundation and in 2016 she was awarded the prestigious Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Award (SE).

In addition to running her own studio, Margrethe Odgaard is part of the design duo Included Middle together with furniture designer Chris L. Halstrøm.

Before setting up her design studio in 2013, Odgaard worked as a printing assistant at The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, USA, followed by seven years as textile designer in the French fashion company EPICE. She graduated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design in 2005 with additional studies at Rhode Island School of Design in USA.

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Artist biography

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