08 November 2019

Anne Brandhøj “Touch & Relate”





Touch & Relate: Anne Brandhøj at Galleri Christoffer Egelund Project ROOM
Curated by Henriette Noermark

The young emerging artist and furniture designer Anne Brandhøj’s first solo show, Touch & Relate at Galleri Christoffer Egelund is a display of vibrant, organic wooden objects that the visitors are welcome to touch and feel. Anne Brandhøj’s works can be classified as collectibles, and the exhibition challenges the notion that an object is either a sculpture or an item of furniture. Can a sculpture be just as functional as a design can be abstract?

Titles such as Be Gentle To My Curves, You Are Not Perfect Either and For Once, Untangle Me make an affectionate, humorous comment on the relationship between objects and people. At the heart of Brandhøj’s work is the question of how we relate to all the things with which we surround ourselves on a daily basis. Applying the concept of aesthetic sustainability as a benchmark, she explores how we can form an emotional relationship with objects and keep them longer, thereby counteracting the unnecessary escalation of consumer culture and the consequences it entails.

Touch & Relate features 11 wooden sculptures, which pay homage to the life of the organism, highlighting the traces of time as opposed to hiding them, as one generally tends to do in the design industry. Because the tree trunks are not cut into planks, in Anne Brandhøj’s works their unique signs of life – fungal attack, knots, growth rings, and cracks – are intact. Each work consists of an element shaped from a fresh tree trunk. After fashioning and drying, it is joined to a dimensionally stable element of either oven-dried wooden planks or moulded veneer.

In collaboration with the design curator Henriette Noermark, the gallery space has been transformed into a sensory space, encouraging visitors to touch and enter into dialogue with the works as if they were items of furniture. The result is a holistic experience. While the reverence for the sculpture fizzles out, the furniture is also freed from its status as a functional utility item. For a furniture designer, function usually forms the basis of the design, but in Touch & Relate Anne Brandhøj challenges both her training and utility by consciously working with non-functional objects. Welcome. Get up close.

Anne Brandhøj (1984) is a Danish artist living and working in Hellerup, Denmark. She graduated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design, and Conservation in 2017 and during her studies, she did an exchange at The Rhode Island School of Design. Brandhøj has been participating in several exhibitions in both Denmark and internationally such as Italy, Indonesia, and France. She has been represented at Snedkernes Efterårsudstilling, Chart Art Fair and 3 Days of Design. Currently, she also teaches at KADK, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. And during the fall of 2019, she was the recipient of Wilhelm Hansen Fonden’s prize for emerging designers.