Spotlight

Greta Schödl

Richard Saltoun Gallery, London (S7)

Greta Schödl, Untitled, c. 1970, Ink and gold leaf on found book paper, 68 × 87 cm. Courtesy: Richard Saltoun Gallery, London

Greta Schödl, Untitled, c. 1970, Ink and gold leaf on found book paper, 68 × 87 cm. Courtesy: Richard Saltoun Gallery, London

Richard Saltoun presents pioneering work from the 1970s-80s by octogenarian Austrian artist Greta Schödl, including work featured in the 1978 Venice Biennale, devoted to the female Poesia Visuale movement.

Schödl has worked in visual poetry, performance, and abstraction since the 1960s. Her practice incorporates text, thread, signs and domestic objects to devise a unique political language, communicating her position as a woman. She covers household objects with text, describing the name of the object itself repeatedly, or sometimes labels them with her own name. However, Schödl's practice wasn't just limited to the domestic concerns. In the 1970s she staged performances in Bologna, attacking the city's historical symbols. This was a time of political terrorism, particularly prevalent in the overtly political town of Bologna. In one performance Schödl walked a female mannequin through Bologna; confronting the stereotype of women as a figure of beauty and silence. In another, she marched with a 4-meter-long tube, covered in the word Tubo (Tube), placing it in the main square in Bologna.

Greta Schödl (b. 1929, Austria; lives and works in Italy) moved to Bologna in the late 1950s after falling in love with famous furniture designer, Dino Gavina. She ceased her practice for over 10 years to raise a family. Balancing her duties as a housewife and her desire to be an artist, she began to make work again from her home; which became her studio.