Donato Amstutz: Surface Tension 23 October—18 December 2021
embroidery on canvas, 105 × 105 × 4.5 cm
embroidery on canvas, 142 × 142 × 4.5 cm
embroidery on canvas, 29.5 × 34 × 4.5 cm
embroidery on canvas, 103 × 103 × 4.5 cm
embroidery on canvas, recto verso, 23 × 18.5 × 5.5 cm
embroidery on canvas, 104 × 104 × 4.5 cm
embroidery on canvas, 85 × 85 × 4.5 cm
embroidery on canvas, 80 × 80 × 4.5 cm
embroidery on canvas, 28.5 × 34 × 4.5 cm
embroidery on canvas, 28 × 35 × 4.5 cm
embroidery on canvas, 24 × 20 × 4.5 cm
For Amstutz, embroidery involves more than just a perfectly mastered and ancient craft. With its inescapable slowness, his embroidery art stimulates reflection and questioning of a time in which everything is strongly influenced by the fast technologies, the information and communication apparatuses and the concepts of efficiency and optimization. He uses, as he himself calls it, this “banal technique” to step in and out of matter. Expressive, repetitive, and opaque, Amstutz embroiders the black or white thread into perfect, typographic lines.
He skillfully manages the balancing act between split-second photography and the slowness of embroidery, and uses the time to show us things, with irony and silent criticism, in an outsized way that we hardly notice consciously in everyday life. By embroidering objects, enlarging them, and turning them into duplicates, the artist overcomes their banality. The result is an almost dangerous paradox to photography or other graphic productions and techniques.
Covering the surface of a fabric with a multitude of stitches, covering it, decorating it, both burying and exposing it through the regulated play of the distances between these stitches of different sizes, is the work of patience to which Donato Amstutz subjects himself.
It is not a perfect