Christina Forrer’s exhibition nourishes your inner child

Los Angeles-based artist Christina Forrer’s weavings and drawings, on view at Luhring Augustine through Oct. 29, express relatable anxieties and fears through a childlike lens of the world.


Alexa Donovan

Christina Forrer’s newest exhibition is currently on view at the Luhring Augustine Gallery in Tribeca. (Alexa Donovan for WSN)

Alexa Donovan, Contributing Writer

Known for creating fantastical art that expresses chaos and evokes powerful emotions, Swiss-born and Los Angeles-based artist Christina Forrer is hosting her second solo exhibition at Luhring Augustine Gallery in Tribeca through Oct. 29.

Just from the street view of the gallery, the bright colors of Forrer’s weavings jump out from the windows. “Turnip Growing” and “Elephant on Chair,” both Boschian-inspired weavings, greet the viewer from the wall opposite the door and windows.  

Both textiles incorporate bright color blocks and caricature-inspired characters, including a purple bearded elephant sitting in a lounge chair with a girl hanging off its trunk. “Turnip Growing” includes worms, a knife-wielding man, a detached bloody foot, and most importantly, a turnip growing out of the ground. Turnips, presumably a symbol of Forrer’s fears, manifest themselves as an essential motif of her art throughout various pieces. 

These turnips grow larger and larger between the doodles and weavings, showing a growing sense of overwhelmingness to visitors. “Turnips Falling,” a 130 x 94-inch weaving, represents the climax of this anxiety-inducing artistry. The piece features a larger-than-life male character with a dejected expression on his face as he protects himself from the vegetables, or perhaps metaphorically, protecting himself from the crushing weight of concerns he can’t quite comprehend.

Forrer’s art magnetically pulls visitors into the gallery. While her drawings are displayed inside glass cases throughout the main showroom, the curatorial choice to hang the weavings around the perimeter of the room enhances the exhibit’s dynamism and creates a story. 

Her work is emotionally striking, using conflict to cathect visitors and reflect on the challenges of everyday life. This chaos is expressed through common childhood fears, which make the walk around the gallery an immersive and cathartic experience. 

The worries Forerr presents through the works in the show represent macro-fears at a microscopic level. “Sepulcher” seems to have the intention of showing the compiled existential troubles that come with learning more about the world. Small representations, like snakes swallowing up a limb, are reminiscent of the anxiety children may feel about their inability to grasp large concepts.

The relationship between anxiety and childhood is very apparent in the exhibit. Alongside the fairytale-style in her weavings, Forrer’s drawings use simple techniques to bring the viewer back to their youth. The use of stamps, streaky magic markers and collage-like cut-outs in Forrer’s doodles and drawings impose a childlike, creative feel on the otherwise stressing nature of her images. 

As an adult, there is a full circle moment in revisiting these childhood fears through satisfying, visually aesthetic art. A reconnection between one’s present self to their past self is bound to happen when nostalgically revisiting simple and juvenile fears with a broader view of the world. It is very cathartic to feel that childhood fears can now be understood through the lens of an adult, while keeping the childlike spirit ever–present. 

Contact Alexa Donovan at [email protected].