Annegret Soltau

Annegret Soltau, Self, #9, 1975-76 (2018.13.1)

Annegret Soltau is a German visual artist who gained recognition in the mid-1970s with her performances and stitched portraits. In Permanente Demonstration Soltau set up series of performances where she would wrap the faces of individuals and groups of people with black thread. To the artist the string represents the materialization of the drawn line into reality. Simultaneously the impressions of the string leave marks that resemble wrinkles of an aging person. In Selbst (“Self”) she stitches thread in geometrical forms across photographic self-portraits. This work developed from an earlier series of representations where Soltau wrapped herself in dark thread, as if in a cocoon. It is a reflection of the artist’s understanding on how human existence is subject to a continuous metamorphosis throughout life. In her career Soltau continues to reflect on the themes of aging and the changes of the body. The use of needle and thread is a distinctive characteristic of her work.

Annegret Soltau was born in Lüneburg, Germany in 1946. She studied painting and graphic arts at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste (University of Fine Arts) in Hamburg and continued her education at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste Wien (Vienna Academy of Fine Arts). Her work is represented in the collections of the Deutsche Bank collection in Frankfurt, Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, among other institutions. Soltau’s work is considered to be fundamental for the development of experimental and performative art of the 70s and 80s.

This year ICP acquired Self, #9 for its permanent collection.

About claartjevandijk

Assistant Curator, Collections at the International Center of Photography, New York
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