From the Series: Käthe

1.800,00 (excl. shipping)

Artist: Johanna Tiedtke


In her paintings Johanna Tiedtke overlays fragments of her own family history with scenes from everyday life and history in an effort to work through the past's relationship with the present. A central focus of the artist's recent work is a striking piece of embroidery completed by her great-aunt Käthe Viegelahn in 1991, while she was living with dementia late in life. The painstakingly embroidered blue, green and white composition resides between figuration and abstraction. The lines, diamonds and crosses that make up the textile's edges, completed first, are the most uniformly executed elements. Toward the center of the piece, the planned pattern gradually dissolves into abstraction, as Käthe's short-term memory deteriorated. A schematic image of a house – a triangular roof with a rectangular base perforated by windows – is legible in the bottom right, and the silhouette of another house seems to emerge next to it. Yet similar shapes on the left side read as diamonds, surrounded by irregular patches of shapes and lines. Much of the composition seems to result from moments of focused labor that are disconnected from an overall design. Viegelahn's embroidery is a remarkable document of memory and for- getting, made by a woman whose lifetime spanned both World Wars. It's a visual index of psychological space. Tiedtke has chosen to make the embroidery a recurrent motif in a series of paintings that quietly reflect on cross-generational legacies of trauma and memory. Tiedtke's paintings are palimpsests, a form that echoes the layered structures of memory and intergenerational knowledge. They seek to make the silences and gaps in histories – both national and personal – visible.

Additional information

Dimensions 37 × 30 cm

Johanna Tiedtke

Year Of Creation



UV-print and oil on glass


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