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The configuration and the scale of art cannot be transposed into furniture and architecture. The intent of art is different from that of the latter, which must be functional. If a chair or a building is not functional, if it appears to be only art, it is ridiculous. The art of a chair is not its resemblance to art, but is partly its reasonableness, usefulness and scale as a chair…A work of art exists as itself; a chair exists as a chair itself.” Donald Judd, in “It’s hard to find a good lamp” 1993

What Donald Judd states so confidently here – the separation of art and furniture, art and useful objects, tools and machines – is what Laura Mietrup sets out to question. Her artistic practice is multi-facetted; she feels at home in many media, but her drawing, printing and painting practices use a predominantly sculptural vocabulary. She moves freely between furniture and sculpture and questions issues of signification, functionality and readability. Volumes, materials, borders and architectural hierarchies are permanently renegotiated in her practice and her work brakes through the boundaries of performance, installation and display, always involving the viewer in the process. 

Mietrup develops a new formal language system, which is in urgent need of an interpretation from the viewer: recognizing and reading forms that seem familiar to the viewer are transformed into a new, unknown language. What this visual lexicon means, remains mysterious and ultimately unsolved. As viewers, we recognize reflections on the formal language of modernism within the context of negotiating Mietrup’s own role as an artist. 

Laura Mietrup uses text – her own script and language – in an explicitly visual form. She challenges the viewer’s perception and anticipation with a complex system of alphabet-like signs, shapes and forms, resembling tools, machines, architectural structures, and bodies. 

Laura Mietrup (*1987, Rheinfelden, CH) grew up in a carpenter’s family. Before she went to art school, she completed an apprenticeship in gilding of picture frames.  Her attention to surface, form and appearance pays tribute to this ancient and almost forgotten craft. In 2017, she graduated with a  BA in Fine Arts from the HGK/FHNW, Basel. She also received the prestigious Förderpreis of the BEWE Stiftung and was nominated for the Werkstattpreis Erich Hauser Stiftung.