Grethe Wittrock is a “Nordic Cool” artist ― inventive and audacious yet balanced and restrained. Her unique commentary on our fragile eco-system is rooted in her Danish heritage leavened with experiences from her global travels. Blue is her color of choice, and in pursuit of deeper knowledge of blue, Wittrock studied with master dyer Shihoko Fukumoto in Kyoto, Japan. The fruits of her study are evident in works such as European Magpie, which utilizes traditional indigo dyeing techniques to reference the color of the bird feathers that fascinate her and the color tones of her Danish homeland.
Wittrock’s artwork combines eye-catching originality and superb technical skill. She uses discarded weather beaten sails, which have no history in the art world, to comment on aging and the interconnectedness of sea, sky, land, and the creatures that inhabit those places. She says those sails have stories to tell and so does she.
Textiles have been her primary medium for telling those stories. But, of late, she has begun to incorporate charred wood in her work as she explores the alterations of textures to probe the shifting place of human society in our rapidly changing world. Grethe Wittrock’s work is always thought provoking and on the cutting-edge of where textile art is going.
Rebecca A. T. Stevens,
Consulting Curator, Contemporary Textiles
The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum