In the period after her final examination at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam (1991), Anita Manshanden created relatively small sculptures with a monumental character. Inspired by Moorish architecture she fashioned temple-like forms with a closed underside and a lace-like, semi-transparent top. She emphasized this contrast between closed and open by her use of bronze and gold glazings for the massive underside, and matte, granular, often blue, skin for the top. Her fascination for Moorish ornaments led Manshanden to their source: nature itself.
In 2000 the closed forms yielded place to open, organic forms that were entirely fashioned from ornaments. The flat lines disappears to make place for more spatial objects, and Manshanden restricted herself to one colour: The forms constantly create new lines, and it's fascinating to search for their roots. Manshanden herself says: "My objects are not imitations of nature, though they develop as natue does: grown, crystallized."
One of her most important inspirations is the book 'Urformen der Kunst' by the German botanicist and photographer Karl Blossfeldt (1865-1932). The detailed photos of plants and flowers in this book inspire Manshanden during the construction of her objects.
Her new work Anita Manshanden is exhibiting differs in 2 respects from her work previously displayed at Gallery Carla Koch.
Whereas before she used to apply primary colours, this time her objects are black or white.
Nature and architecture provided inspiration for her earlier work, now folklore is her source of inspiration.
The open lace-like structures are a recurring theme in Anita Manshanden's work. It is, therefore, not surprising that she became intrigued by delicate pleated lace bonnets, frequently a characteristic component of Dutch traditional costume.
A recent visit to the big fashion exhibition at the Zuiderzee Museum, provided Manshanden with a tremendous incentive to design this new series of objects.
Various styles are expressed in national costume, such as tradition and the transfer of habits and customs, which are affected by change in the course of time.
That same aspect can be found in Anita Manshanden's work: the technique remains the same and becomes more profound, yet the contents changes under the influence of various sources of inspiration (from architecture to nature and now to folklore).
Textiles (Flemish lace) and precious metal (Zeeland buttons) transformed by means of clay ornaments into small objects, in monochrome white or black, colours that represent loyalty and grief.
Stripped of every function, except that of display, as is the case with wearing traditional costume.
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