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Michael Raedecker

Michael Raedecker is a Dutch painter active in England. He first trained as a fashion designer, studying at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam (1985–90) and the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam (1993–4) before retraining as an artist at Goldsmiths College in London (1996–7). After serving an apprenticeship with radical designer Martin Margiela, he eventually came to unite his interest in textiles and paintings by making pictures which incorporate embroidery.

Many of his large canvases depict pristine Modernist interiors that seem to have become dirty with age, their clean forms and smooth planes upset by the addition of wools and threads that make the places depicted look worn and ragged.

Raedecker’s landscapes also seem melancholic and slightly comic, like darkened and impoverished versions of old Romantic subjects; these views are centred on log-cabin retreats suggestive of a hopeless modern dream of returning to nature.

Raedecker combines the art of sewing with a work made on the canvas, with acrylic colors.  I want to know everything about Raedecker’s work: the dimension of the canvases, the process he uses, if he sew the canvas before to apply the color.

Michael Raedecker paints his woodland getaway in the night air. Breaking down the composition to the barest colour-field essentials, he sketches in the details with delicate stitch work: thick wool standing in for tree bark, fine silk threads tracing the enmeshed patterns of the distant trees, the shimmering ripples in the stream. The effect is a captivating stillness, an atmosphere of too-quiet isolation, a setting for leisurely (or illicit) escape.

In his paintings, Raedecker depicts abstracted scenes of suburban architecture and everyday domestic life. However,instead of using a brush to paint his subject matter, he uses a needle to painstakingly delineate every scene with stitched threads.

He explores the combination of the art of painting with the craft of embroidery by stitching his painted canvases together.

For instance, in one work Raedecker presents a row of bungalows stitched into a large canvas. The canvas is then cut into vertical rectangular strips, rearranged and stitched back together. By literally going through the canvas and deleting fragments, these cuts act as an editing process, which further disorientates what began as an already disconcerting scene of suburban life. Raedecker’s subject matter ranges from urban settings and wedding cakes to chandeliers and curtains.


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