Caroline Achaintre

Caroline Achaintre Exhibited at The Saatchi Gallery

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.

Other artists in

Caroline Achaintre    Tasha Amini    Hurvin Anderson    Maurizio Anzeri    Jonathan Baldock    Anna Barriball    Steve Bishop    Karla Black    Lyn. Yiadom Boakye    Pablo Bronstein    Alan Brooks    Peter Linde Busk    Carla Busuttil    Nicholas Byrne    Gareth Cadwallader    Juliana Cerqueira Leite    Spartacus Chetwynd    Steven Claydon    Clarisse d'Arcimoles    William Daniels    Matthew Darbyshire    Graham Durward    Tim Ellis    Tom Ellis    Richard Evans    Tessa Farmer    Marcus Foster    Robert Fry    Ximena Garrido-Lecca    Jaime Gili    Nick Goss    Luke Gottelier    Kate Groobey    Anthea Hamilton    Anne Hardy    Gabriel Hartley    Nicholas Hatfull    Iain Hetherington    Alexander Hoda    Sigrid Holmwood    James Howard    Graham Hudson    Dean Hughes    Des Hughes    Mustafa Hulusi    Paul Johnson    Edward Kay    Idris Khan    Scott King    Ansel Krut    littlewhitehead    Christina Mackie    Alastair Mackinven    Goshka Macuga    Ryan Mosley    Rupert Norfolk    Arif Ozakca    Mark Pearson    Dan Perfect    Peter Peri    Olivia Plender    Henrijs Preiss    Ged Quinn    Clunie Reid    Barry Reigate    Luke Rudolf    Maaike Schoorel    Daniel Silver    David Brian Smith    Renee So    Fergal Stapleton    Clare Stephenson    Systems House    Caragh Thuring    Phoebe Unwin    Donald Urquhart    Jonathan Wateridge    John Wynne    Toby Ziegler

Caroline Achaintre's Biography

Caroline Achaintre
Born in 1969 Toulouse, France
Lives and works in London, UK


Caroline Achaintre, Art Now, Tate Britain, London

Illy present Future Art prize
Castello do Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea
Spotlight, Tate Britain, London

Camp Coo, UH Galleries and Smith Row, Hertfordshire and Bury St Edmunds

Trip-Dip, Arcade Gallery, London

'Couleur Locale', Arcade, London

Novelty, Mirko Mayer, Cologne

Visor Visitor, Fake Estate, New York

Six Strings, Blow de la Barra, London

Caroline Achaintre, Mirko Mayer Galerie, Cologne

DEEDIE,The Showroom, London

Caroline Achaintre, Lawrence O’Hana Gallery, London
Caroline Achaintre, Mirko Mayer Galerie, Cologne
QUARTERS, Whitechapel Project Space, London

Billboard, Mafuji Gallery, London

Kampagne, Kohlenhof, Kunstverein Nuremberg


En Crue Fondation Albert Gleizes Lyon, FR

British Art Show 8 John Hansard Gallery and Southampton City Art Gallery Southampton
British Art Show 8 Norwich University of the Arts and Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery Norwich
British Art Show 8 Scottish National Gallery of the Arts Edinburgh

RA Summer Exhibition 2015. Royal Academy of the Arts London
British Art Show 8 Leeds Art Gallery Leeds, UK

Deep One Perfect Morning Kerlin Gallery Dublin
Vernacular Alchemists Centre d'art contemporain Passerelle Brest
More Material Salon 94 New York
Accordion Laura Bartlett Gallery London

A-Tri-Lick PEER, London
Decorum Musee de l’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris
The Hecklers The New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall
Six Possibilities for a Sculpture La Loge, Brussels
Are You Alright? New Art From Britain Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto

The London Open Whitechapel Gallery, London
Caroline Achaintre, Sara Barker, Alice Channer Eastside Projects, Birmingham
Mocha non-truth Cul De sac, London
James Tower and Contemporary Ceramic Art Gimpel Fils, London
Laying down and kissing the love in the mist Kendal Koppe Gallery, Glasgow
Material Matters/East Wing X The Courtauld Institute, London

6th Monumentum Biennal Moss, Norway
Newspeak 2: British Art Now The Saatchi Gallery, London
Adventures in a Miniature Landscape LOG, Bergamo
Koepfe Oechsner Galerie Nuremberg, Germany
Freies Material Weltraum, Munich
Archetypes Timothy Taylor Gallery, London

First Taste The Lemon Satellite, Newcastle
Collission RISD Museum, Rhode Island
Das vertraute Unvertraute Wuerttembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgar

Cabinet Afrique, Cell Project Space, London

Blue Balls, APF LAB, New York
Soft Spot, 0047 OSLO, Oslo
Unfair Fair, Loto Arte, Rome
Strange Days, Whitecross Gallery, London

Open Plan, Art Athina, Athens
Behemoth, Danielle Arnauld, London
Amongst the Ashes and Millionaires, Ancient & Modern, London

Beauty and the Beast, Fieldgate Gallery, London
Until it makes Sense, Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, Paris, FR and Seventeen, London
Good Vibrations, Palazzo delle Papessse, Siena
If it dos not exist you will have to invent it, The Showroom, London

Acid Rain, Glassbox / Galerie Michel Rein, Paris
Brief Encounter, The Reykjavik Academy, Reykjavik
Transfer, m-projects, Cologne

Roadsweeper, Mirko Mayer Galerie, Cologne
Contrapop Vamiali’s Gallery, Athens
Gastspiel, Bergstuebl Projekte, Berlin
Motor City, Spital Square, London

The Unhomely, Kettles Yard, Cambridge
Out to Grass, Galerie Koch & Kesslau, Berlin
Here you have it, MZKMA, Berlin
Positionen und Tendenzen, Kunsthaus, Nuremberg

No Timewasters, Kent Institute of Art and Design, Kent
Gatsby, The New Landsdowne Club, London
Ehai-Elua-Ekolu-Quatro, Galerie Lothringer 13/Laden, Munich
Club, Le Confort Moderne, Poitiers
Vodka Noire, Galerie Corentin Hamel, Paris

Fear it, do it anyway, Vilma Gold Gallery, London
Record Collection, VTO Gallery, London (travelling to Manchester)
Club, Beaconsfield Gallery, London
Holiday, Milchhof, Berlin