30th anniversary
Saatchi Store
School Visits


Caroline Achaintre


Hand tufted wool

220 x 115 cm
Achaintre cites German Expressionism and post-war British sculpture as influences on her work; these movements are known for their crude aesthetics which conveyed the trauma of a war-time generation. Her work also draws from ‘Primitivism’, a style of early 20th century art that incorporated imagery from tribal cultures. Achaintre is interested in these periods because they present junctures between the ancient and modern, psychological and physical, exoticism and technology. Fevver broaches these terrains with its fearsome geometric face. Its brown thatched patterning looks like an animal skin, while its eyes seem strangely modern like sunglasses. Achaintre likens her work to anthropological museum displays, where objects are removed from another place or time and are brought into a contemporary context.
Caroline Achaintre


Hand tufted wool

230 x 190 cm
Caroline Achaintre initially started making tufted objects as a way to translate drawings into real space. To make her work Achaintre tufts each individual piece of yarn into a woven canvas base, a process which she likens to painting in wool. The length, texture and colour of each thread takes on the qualities of expressionist painting. Achaintre uses wool because of its physicality, its attractive but sometimes also repulsive attributes. Its natural fabric suggests something primitive, but also the technological precision and connoisseurship of post-industrial craft. These ideas are reflected in her compositions, which look like futuristic tribal masks. Achaintre is interested in masks because they represent duplicity: whether used for shamanism, theatre, or carnival, masks suggest a state where reality and the fantastical can exist at the same time.
Caroline Achaintre


Hand tufted wool

235 x 150 cm
Though Achaintre’s process is highly technical and labour-intensive, she develops her work quite spontaneously. Because she has to tuft the wool from the back side of the canvas, her compositions are developed largely through intuition. The holes in the canvas allude to the unseen space behind the face; these enhance the works’ sculptural form and also give a sense of ‘false’ presentation or apparition. Moustache-Eagle has a mystical quality: it’s both a man and a bird and suggests a state of transition. Its rich colours convey an exotic power that’s simultaneously entrancing and ominous. Achaintre considers her work as part of a tradition of tapestry; her works’ theatrical images function as both pictorial illusion and concrete (and potentially usable) object.


Additional information and images – Caroline Achaintre

Representing gallery - Mirko Mayer Gallery in Cologne
The works of Caroline Achaintre are shaped by the continuing exploration of an artist's possibilities to work figuratively and realistically, while at the same work abstract, employing citations. Every new exhibition of the artist is a new attempt to present yet another step in the formalistic development of her art. Achaintre's work is characterised by several groups of works which move back and forth between figurative and abstract forms of depiction, while as well undergoing thematic changes.

Arcade Fine Arts - representing gallery.
Works from Solo Show March – April 2010

The artist, Toulouse-born, London-based Caroline Achaintre, earned her cred when she worked as a blacksmith and drummed in a heavy metal band, activities she continued even while pregnant. For her first New York solo show, called “Visor Visitor,” she created two freshly hooked rug pieces and a print edition.

Caroline Achaintre at Fake Estate, New York – Solo Show: Visor/Visitor, January 10 - February 15, 2008

Selected images – Whitecross Gallery, London

Caroline Achaintre at Fieldgate Gallery, London