Anne von Freyburg is a Dutch artist based in London. She received her MA degree in Fine Art from Goldsmiths and graduated in 2016 and holds a BA in Fashion Design from ArtEZ Arnhem, The Netherlands.
Von Freyburg is the winner of Robert Walters UK New Artists Award 2021 and exhibited at Saatchi Gallery London. She was shortlisted for The Ingram Prize 2021 and took part of the PLOP x Cob. winter Residency in London. In 2019 she was awarded a residency at the Florence Trust in London, and in 2016 was shortlisted for the Art Gemini Prize. Anne has exhibited in London, the Netherlands, Germany, and Spain. Her work has been published in Art Scope magazine (US), Embroidery art magazine (UK), Textiel Plus magazine (NL), Art Unplugged UK, Art Verge, PAN and the dream magazine (US) and many others. Von Freyburg’s work is in several private collections all over the world.
Anne von Freyburg’s practice rethinks textile and the decorative within the tradition of painting. It embraces and subverts the female gaze, the feminine and pretty. Historically, craft and decoration have been perceived as lesser than the “intellectual” fine arts. By combining them, von Freyburg challenges this underlying hierarchical system.
The large-scale textile paintings are reconstructed Rococo portraits made out of a mixture of tapestry and contemporary fashion fabrics. The imagery focuses on a stylised idea around feminine beauty as found in the tradition of Boucher and Fragonard. With these works she attempt to raise questions about taste, femininity, high and low art and the constructs of female identity. The appropriated portraits are created with acrylic ink and then translated into hand-stitched fabrics and sewing techniques that give the work an almost bodily presence. Whilst on the one hand playful and referencing the decorative quality of their sources, the over-indulgence in these works also points to the excesses of throwaway fashion, selfies, and consumerism
Where are you from? Did you grow up in a creative environment?
I am originally from The Netherlands, but since 2014 I’ve lived in South East London. I grew up in a creative family. My mother is an art teacher and worked for many years as a stylist and trend adviser. My stepfather is a painter.
Who or what has compelled and/or encouraged you to create your art?
The urge or need for me to create comes very naturally, but it did help that my parents have always encouraged, stimulated, and taken my creativity seriously. Going to Arts School and developing and discussing ideas with my peers was important in order to learn how to be persistent and distinctive in my ideas. Visiting contemporary art shows and talking to artists is also an encouraging factor that keeps me alert.
What is the key topic or issue that your work addresses?
The work celebrates playfulness, craft, and the feminine. It aims to raise questions about taste, femininity, high and low art, and the constructs of female identity. The overindulgence in the work points to the excesses of throwaway fashion, selfies, and consumerism. By mixing craft and fine art, I am interested in blurring the boundaries between them.
What is your biggest source of inspiration?
Materials, modern life, and contemporary art.
If you weren’t creating art, what would you be doing?
Making music or working as a therapist.