The Mexican breadfruit, Swiss cheese plant, ceriman, window leaf, split-leaf philodendron: all common and less common names of the monstera delicosa.
Essentially a tropical plant, the large leathery, glossy green leaves of the monstera delicosa make it a luscious, somewhat ornamental plant. Its popularity doubtless reached its zenith in the 1970s when it became an ubiquitous houseplant. Its robustness made it undemanding, its size and glossy leaves making it a rather theatrical and exotic addition to the British sitting room and hall.
Franziska Furter has appropriated the monstera delicosa. Suspended from the ceiling are numerous leaves. But it has undergone a eerie mutation. The monstera delicosa has been translated in to a dark, menacing presence that hovers in the centre of the gallery. Thick stems rise and twist and a mass of black leaves throng together. Franziska Furter frequently takes a motif and carefully transforms it. In earlier graphite and ink drawings, Furter adopted images of chandeliers, wooded landscapes and flowing lava streams. And then through manipulation, she transformed them in to new and fantastical visual images.
In her new series of drawings, entitled Shades, Furter has appropriated images of the universe taken by the Hubble telescope. Furter has scanned, edited, blown-up on a light desk, these images and then re-drawn them in enamel on paper. Dense clusters of cosmic matter swirl, while break away particles seem to peter out. On a further wall, near-camouflaged against the whiteness of the wall, is another dense bundle. It’s nylon thread which has been repeatedly knotted by Furter until it curled and twisted to resemble a mass of salt crystals.
Franziska Furter (born 1972 in Zurich, live and works in London and Basel) trained in Basel and Zurich. Recent exhibitions include Shades, Galerie Friedrich, Basel; Elasticprojects, Malmö, Sweden; Vom Schweifen der Linien, Seedamm Kulturzentrum Pfäffikon, Switzerland (2006); even ever, Kunsthaus Baselland, Muttenz, Switzerland; Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Landpartie, Zurich; Tour-Retour, Kunsthaus L6, Freiburg, Germany; Hyper-Drawing, Kunsthaus Langenthal, Switzerland (2005).