Trained as a weaver, Johannesson began to make tapestries as art in the 1970s, creating work that often satirised mainstream politics. In 1978, Johannesson traded her loom for an Apple II Plus, the first generation of personal computers. Teaching herself to program, she transferred the same dimensions from her weave to the computer (239 pixels on the horizontal side and 191 pixels on the vertical).
A pixelated figure reoccurs throughout her practice. It can be found in the weave Terror, 1970, in several of the plotted prints, the installation of 3D prints, and in the new painting Human, 2018. Marching forward, this figure is suggestive of Johannesson’s underlying interest in the constant human quest for knowledge.
In the ‘90s, Johannesson embarked on a series of caravan paintings, each including a camel and a palm tree. Johannesson considers the caravan as the internet of ancient times as they facilitated communication across gigantic deserts. She is also fascinated by the singularity of the camel, their endurance and mysticism.
Charlotte Johannesson (b. 1943, Malmö, Sweden) lives and works in Skanör, Sweden. Trained as a weaver, Johannesson began to make tapestries as art in the 1970s, work that often satirised mainstream politics. In 1978, Johannesson traded her loom for an Apple II Plus, the first generation of personal computers. Teaching herself to program she used the same dimensions on the computer as she had on the weave (239 pixels on the horizontal side and 191 pixels on the vertical). Funded by The National Swedish Board for Technology and Development, she started the Digital Theatre with her partner, Sture Johannesson, in Malmö, Sweden. Existing between 1981 and 1985, the Digital Theatre was a technoutopia in miniature and Scandinavia’s first digital arts laboratory.
Johannesson’s work has been exhibited internationally, including in The Blazing World, S|2 Gallery, Sotheby’s, London (2019); Mud Muses, Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2019); Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance, Act 2, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea, UK (2019); pressure | imprint, Malmö Konsthall, Sweden (2018); Nordic Pavilion, Venice Biennale (2017); 32nd São Paulo Biennale (2016); Textila Undertexter, Marabouparken Konsthall, Sweden (2016); The Society without Qualities, Tensta Konsthall, Spånga, Sweden (2013); Forms of Resistance, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands (2007); and Pyramid of Mars, Barbican Centre, London, and Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, and Trapholt Museum, Kolding, Denmark (2000). A solo exhibition of Johannesson’s work is forthcoming in April 2021 at Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, curated by Mats Stjernstedt and Lars Bang Larsen.