Verena Schöttmer

Schoettmer verena portrait denim bettina steinbruegge
Heavy visual language offsets light poetic association

The soft surface of Verena Schoettmer’s blue velvet paintings are rich with symbolism, though their minimal first impression melts away upon reflection. Stretched velvet offsets a shimmering steel frame, while rich blues is marked by the bleached lines, to reveal something hidden behind the surface. Always we are drawn to the very edge and teeter there, looking into... what? Here a door, there a precipice, such liminal spaces can be two way boundaries but not always; a window onto artistic taste and a portal to the viewer's own trail of thought. There is a suggestion of the floating world across the misted veil, glimpses of eastern influence coded into the soft fabric of a kimono, and striking colours that echo woodcuts. Schoettmer pivots around these otherworldly themes while remaining rooted in traditional craftsmanship, with her own injection of humour. The artist threads popular culture and societal critique into rich tapestries, literal woven works of art that exist as paintings with deeply sculptural elements.

Schoettmer verena portrait pool bettina steinbruegge
Repealing culture written through textures and textiles, solids and void

The artist's sculptures are often presented as pairs, two unique bodies that stand distinct yet lean upon one another to inform and illuminate, though they do not give up secrets easily. Two massive bricks are combined with delicate silk to form a contrast of texture and function in Latschen (2015). This unlikely duet resembles the 'geta' sandals worn since the Chinese Han dynasty. The work relates to the impossible challenge of navigating the world while encumbered by such burdens and bindings. Serviette & Citron (2021) is composed of familiar fabrics, removed from everyday ritual and woven to highlight the ancient designs and tight prints that elsewhere blend into a bathroom background. Here, an acidic hyaluron mask parallels the acid wash and chlorine bleach found through Schoettmer’s practice, while to the side, a spectacular and traditional French 'Citron' soap is affixed to the wall and invites the viewer to consider the impossible, and touch the art. Moving from the minutiae of the everyday, Schoettmer also addresses generational change. The denim jackets and reclaimed fabrics that form many of Schoettmer’s paintings are deeply associated with youth cultures, harnessing teens’ burning drive to mark the world as belonging to them. The series Ghostwritings uses an acid bleach to permanently mark the denim, in a reductive process that shows beauty is not only built by a process of addition, but through distillation.

Text by Jonathan Ferguson

Biography Verena Schöttmer

born 1980


Education


2012 Diploma in Fine Arts HFBK Hamburg, Germany


Exhibitions (selection)

2022
Spring, CCA Andratx Mallorca, Spain

2021
Schleicher, In the Box, Künstlerhaus Sootbörn, Hamburg, Germany (SOLO)

2020
New Viewings online, Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin, Germany
Art Basel by Berlin analog, Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin, Germany

2019
Waves, Art Center 18th Street, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, United States

2018
Ghostwritings (Snippet), Il Caminetto, Hamburg, Germany (SOLO)

2017
Turn a page, sing a line, form a sheet, Griffiths Arts Center, Canton, New York, United States

2016
Europa, Künstlerforum Bonn, Germany (SOLO)

2015
Trust the Ditch, Hamburger Kunstverein, Germany (SOLO)

2014
unto void fulfills this place, „das weisse Haus“, Vienna, Austria

2009
Der bohemistische Leichnam, Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, Hamburg, Germany


Prizes/Residencies/Scholarships


2022
Artist in Residency CCA Andratx, Mallorca, Spain
Dorothea Erxleben Grant (Ministry of Culture Niedersachsen), Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig, Germany

2021
Sponsorship of ministry of culture and media of City Hamburg, Germany

2020
Working Grant, Foundation Stiftung Kunstfonds, Germany

2019
Artist in Residence Art Center 18th Street, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, United States

2018
Sponsorship of ministry of culture and media of City Hamburg, Germany
Artist in Residence Eastside International, Los Angeles, United States

2018
Studio grant Foundation of Culture Sparkasse Stormarn, Germany

2016
Residency / grant of Foundation of Culture Sparkasse Stormarn, Germany
Nominated for: Kunst am Bau Staatsoper Unter den Linden (Opera of the State) Berlin, Germany
Nominated for: Kunst am Bau Stadthöfe Hamburg, Germany
Nominated for: Church St. Elisabeth Kassel, Germany

2014
Artist in Residence das weisse haus, Vienna, Austria
Working stipend of of ministry of culture and media of City Hamburg, Germany

2013
Georg-Meistermann grant, Germany

2009-2012
Stipend of Cusanuswerk, Germany

Schoettmer verena portrait bettina steinbruegge

Works by Verena Schöttmer

  • Schoettmer verena for m s mary shelley bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    For M.S. (Mary Shelley, 1797-1851) (from ongoing series 'Ghostwritings')

    2018 / Chlorine bleach on denim, stainless steel frame / 170 x 140 cm / 66.9 x 55.1 in (framed) / €6,100

  • Schoettmer verena paris bettina steinbruegge

    Paris

    2015 / Collage, silk painting, silk, scarf / 60 x 70 cm / 23.6 x 27.6 in / €1,900

  • Schoettmer verena sunset strip bettina steinbruegge

    Sunset Strip

    2012 / Ceramics, platinum glaze / 160 x 80 cm / 63.0 x 31.5 in

  • Schoettmer verena ribbon bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    Ribbon

    2020 / Chlorine bleach on blue velvet, stainless steel frame / 61 x 46 cm / 24.0 x 18.1 in (framed) / €2,200

  • Schoettmer verena do you have a problem in live bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    Do You have a Problem in Life?

    2020 / Chlorine bleach on blue velvet, stainless steel frame / 61 x 46 cm / 24.0 x 18.1 in (framed) / €2,200

  • Schoettmer verena bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    2020 / Chlorine bleach on blue velvet, stainless steel frame / 61 x 46 cm / 24.0 x 18.1 in (framed) / €2,200

  • Schoettmer verena falsches zeichen bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    Falsches Zeichen

    2020 / Chlorine bleach on blue velvet, stainless steel frame / 61 x 46 cm / 24.0 x 18.1 in (framed) / €2,200

  • Schoettmer verena schleicher bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    Schleicher

    2020 / Chlorine bleach on blue velvet, stainless steel frame / 61 x 46 cm / 24.0 x 18.1 in (framed) / €2,200

  • Schoettmer verena killer bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    Killer

    2020 / Chlorine bleach on blue velvet, stainless steel frame / 61 x 46 cm / 24.0 x 18.1 in (framed) / €2,200

  • Schoettmer verena latschen bettina steinbruegge

    Latschen

    2015 / Bricks, silk / Dimensions variable / €600

  • Schoettmer verena serviette citron bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    Serviette & Citron

    2021 / Towels, soap, yogamat, hyaluron mask, stainless steel frame / 170 x 140 cm / 66.9 x 55.1 in (framed) / €4,900

  • Schoettmer verena connecting studies bettina steinbruegge installation

    ÷ (connecting studies), ongoing series

    2019 / Ceramics, styrodur / Dimensions variable

  • Schoettmer verena palms bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    Palms (waiting)

    2022 / Diverse fabrics, plastic fabrics / 240 x 140 cm / 94.5 x 55.1 in / €7,900

  • Schoettmer verena kessel v s bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    Kessel

    2017 / Ceramics, outdoor sitting pad / 44 x 21 cm / 17.3 x 8.3 in / €1,500

  • Schoettmer verena heartbreaker bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    Heartbreaker

    2017 / Ceramics, winter jacket / 79 x 80 x 50 cm / 31.1 x 31.5 x 19.7 in / €3,300

  • Schoettmer verena for r e bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    For R.E. (from ongoing series 'flowers to lovers in acid washed jeans')

    2017 / Chlorine bleach on denim, stainless steel frame / 170 x 140 cm / 66.9 x 55.1 in (framed) / €6,100

  • Schoettmer verena for a g bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    For A.G. (from ongoing series 'flowers to lovers in acid washed jeans')

    2017 / Chlorine bleach on denim, stainless steel frame / 170 x 140 cm / 66.9 x 55.1 in (framed) / €6,100

  • Schoettmer verena eusapia palladino bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    E.P. (Eusapia Palladino)

    2018 / Chlorine bleach on denim jacket, size M (oversized) / Dimensions variable / €1,200