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Natalya Hughes (Young) girl with a Japanese umbrella

acrylic on polycotton

152.5 x 132.4 cm

This work brings together two periods of expressionist painter Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s output: his early paintings of young girls in his Dresden studio in Germany, and the textile works produced with craftswomen such as Lise Gujer later in life. Art historians have described the early works as either possessing a powerful eroticism or as asexually positioning the sitters in adult scenes. The tapestries have a stranger relationship to his oeuvre because of his inconsistent authoring and their status as craft. I’m interested in combining Kirchner’s painterly scenes with the decorative language of the tapestries. The two moments suggest very different relationships with the women they ‘involve’; this difference is the painting’s focus.

Natalya Hughes, 2022