SUSANNE THIEMANN
I encountered the work of Susanne Thiemann for the first time in a group exhibition of Munich artists at the "Haus der Kunst". Her work fascinated me because Thiemann works on the thin line between the applied arts -handicraft- and sculpture. At the same time she does not shy away from heavy loaded themes such as femininity or domestication, but she does so in a highly personal way. It struck me that I find echos in her work of leading feminist artists such as Eva Hesse, Lygia Clark or even Yayoi Kusama. A deep interest in the viewer's reaction and participation is what Thiemann is after as well. Thiemann strive for a renewal of what it means "to have" a craft and at the same time "to deviate" from it.

Chris Dercon




Opposites always attract, that is a fact: bright and dark; order and disorder; happy and sad; the beauty and the beast. Everything would be boring without its evil counterpart.

The sculptures of Susanne Thiemann are composed of thin monochrome plastic hoses, coloured electric wires, and thick strips of shredded car tyres.
Pieces of lost property and remaining stocks of mass-produced, hardly decomposing products.
Materials that are triggering many connotations because they belong to our everyday life and use. We like synthetic material because it is so smooth and convenient, even though we often consider it as cheap and of inferior quality. We like soft colours like pink and light blue because they give us the impression of childhood living in an innocent world, although we all know how cruel this sweet world can be.

Susanne Thiemann works with simple materials that are generally available, and she uses one of the oldest crafts in the world – the art of weaving and interlacing.
Thus she joins single cords to shapes ranging from solid braided skin to a loose network of tyres cut into pieces – voracious ribbons, either hanging from the ceiling or lying slack on the floor.
What was once a wheel tyre now causes totally different connotations in Down and Going Down. Bizarre and tragicomic. Simultaneously, they show us how fragile our lives and our society are and how quickly we dispose of things because they are not useful anymore and because we have no room for things that are past their prime.
In works like Group and Big Peddig, the steles‘ pink, light blue, black, or beige braided skin stretches like a stocking over a skeleton made of wire and papier mâché or wood. The steady, harmonic weave of plastic hoses is deformed by dents, constrictions, and excrescences.
We can walk round the sculptures, surround them, thus seeing them from the artist‘s point of view.
By working around and weaving in circles, she has given the sub-constructions a skin of thin lines. The crimpling gives the sculptures mobility and life. Strange and tender creatures made of plastic, stretching up in a desperate and peculiar way or collapsing limply.
Susanne Thiemann works with the rigid and floating, with the self-contained and the tattered. Her sculptures relate to each other and to the room. Sometimes standing in the middle of it, sometimes lying around in a corner as a shimmering, loudly coloured soft machine, or dangling down from the ceiling like stockings. Whether alone or in a group, they always give the impression that opposites attract: affection meets rejection – disorder meets order – lightmeets strong – fake meets reality – cheeriness meets seriousness – beauty meets the beast.

Susanne Robbert




The woven sculptures of Susanne Thiemann, born in 1955, captivate through the manner in which they contrast form and material. The result is an exciting combination of order and chaos, density and dissolution, attraction and rejection. After completing her training as a basket maker in 1987, Thiemann worked primarily in her own master studio in Munich before dedicating herself increasingly in recent years to artistic work.
With old parts of automobile tires and synthetic tubes from which seat profiles of chairs were manufactured in the 1960s and 70s she creates abstract objects which standing, lying or suspended from the ceiling ? redefine space. The basic form is a supporting skeleton made of wire and wood which is covered in a lengthy process with a woven skin. Deformations, bulges and constrictions develop and the pliable material appears to collapse on itself while continuing to retain the original form.

For Thiemann, the appeal of the material lies not only in the smooth structure of the surface and its mouldability, but also in the colorfulness. Bright red, pink, light blue and yellow are the typical colors of the 1960s and 70s which simultaneously attract and repel through associations such as lightness and joie de vivre but also triviality and kitsch. I deal with themes from the seventies like the Hippy era which I myself experienced when I was very young. My sculptures implement my thoughts and feelings about that era in an abstract manner? the colorful and the destructive aspects which were so close together and yet swept many into an abyss.
These are the contrasts which fascinate the artist. The sculptures attest to an artificially created world whose superficial beauty and brightness conceal the destructive aspects of an era in which many people, through excessive use of drugs and free sex, were confronted with existential problems. Personal memories and the lives of people of that time which the artist reconstructs by means of prepared collages form the basis for her abstract sculptures which document the ruptures and adversities in the course of human lives.

Julia Klüser