Hostler Burrows is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Astrid Krogh (Danish, b. 1968). This is the artist’s first solo presentation in the United States. Krogh creates large-scale textiles and light-based public installations that delve into the microscopic structures of biological life and the elusive organization of the universe. Her foundation in textile design led her to a structuralist approach to studying unobservable and overlooked phenomena, mixing rational inquiry with wonder. She is drawn to “patterns that embrace changeability,” in her words.
For Arabesque, Krogh has designed a botanical metalwork tapestry in the form of taraxacum (the common dandelion), a hardy and undomesticated plant species endemic to the cracked pavement and urban landscape of cities like Los Angeles. Cut from aluminum sheets, the silhouettes of serrated leaves and puffball heads are overlaid on the building’s brick facade. Their surfaces are gilded with 23-carat gold to reflect the warm hues of the California sun, casting shadows into the gallery’s interior and sending light refracting across Melrose Avenue. The use of gilded surfaces speaks to a long tradition within textiles in representing sunlight’s luminous, celestial, and transcendent qualities.
Flowers and plants offer a means to articulate correspondences between microcosm and macrocosm, between the detail of nature and the laws of the universe.
An ironwork arabesque within the gallery is based on the form of a branching species of seaweed gathered from the Baltic Sea. It offers the possibility of endless repetition, expanding the “language of plants” to the scale of walls and buildings. Krogh has treated one side of the metal with gold leaf while a delicate filigree of oxidation is left exposed along the other. Nearby, printed photographs and illuminated LED light boxes take us deep within the cellular makeup of leaves, stems, and algal tissue, converging in a complex fibrous weave.
One such work showcases the vibrant fuchsia and palm-like structure of seaweed pressed against glass. Its dense lines and crowded organization call to mind the branching veins and arteries of the body as well as larger, global structures—the diverging pinpricks of city lights seen from the sky at night or the wandering routes of transcontinental highways. A series of prints flecked with gold, platinum, silver, and reflective watercolor amplifies the microscopic structures of seaweed, emphasizing the complex relation of parts and particles within all biological tissue. Much like syllables in a phrase or galaxies across the sky, these cellular landscapes compose what Krogh calls a “vegetal poetics” of the interconnectedness of all things.
Astrid Krogh currently lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. She graduated in 1997 from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Design with a degree in textile design. Krogh has exhibited internationally and completed numerous large-scale installations for public spaces, including the Uppsala Central Railway Station, the Platinan building in central Gothenburg, the Täby Simhall, and the Danish University Centre in Beijing. She is the recipient of numerous awards, honors, and grants, including the Finn Juhl Prize, CODAawards, the Nationalbankens Jubilæumsfonds Bequest, the Knud V. Engelhardt Memorial Bequest, and a series of grants from the Danish Arts Foundation.