About the work of Vibeke Fonnesberg Schmidt

Geometric archetypes - the circle, the ellipse and the cylinder – provide the starting point for Vibeke Fonnesberg Schmidt’s works. Her interpretations of these forms appear to be simple, rigid and modernistic. Yet a closer looks shows that they are given an organic, perturbative and deliberately imperfect twist which places her works between homogeneity and disjointedness, between perfection and surprise, between balance and disharmony. These twists raise new questions. Why has the cylinder deliberately been cut in an asymmetric way? Why have the layers of the pot been reassembled so that they no longer fit together?

Vibeke Fonnesberg Schmidt works in a wide range of materials but always employs a set of principles which throws new light on the geometric archetypes and questions our preconceptions. The break or the clash is the focal point in her work. She softens the rigidness of the geometry with transgressive, imperfect and challenging moves. Vibeke Fonnesberg Schmidt’s praxis concerns resistance - resistance against the rigid and limiting systems with which she works and which she breaks down and builds up again. She rebuilds the shapes, transforming them and pushing them in new directions. She creates harmonic disharmonies. This disharmony brings continuous action to her works.

Geometric constructions and compositions thus form the basis of her explorations of the material. These original geometric shapes can be observed from several angles and will change and develop depending on the viewpoint and observer. She realizes the fascination of an apparently simple circular form which will be perceived differently depending on how it is turned. This theme is probed in her composition of open white porcelain ellipses on a wall; in her arrangement of simple yellow semi-circles mounted on a wall to create a flower; and in her overlapping wooden rings which form discreet new colour collaborations. Vibeke Fonnesberg Schmidt constantly uses the modernist rigidity as well as the Scandinavian humour and approach to challenge the aesthetic of simplicity, regularity and preconception. In doing so, she extends tradition into new places.

Text by Charlotte Jul