Transformation of the Plastic Bags and The Strech Foil

Hannah Schraven

Patricia Kranz work is focused on a popular commodity today – plastic bags, an integral part of our
culture which represents both commodity fetishism and postmodernism.
Using various techniques, the artist creates coloured objects from the bags, and
therefore alienates the once smooth unbroken surfaces. She uses the extensive range of printed bags
to create something both picturesque and sculptural that at the same time reinterpretates their
everyday function. In this way the bags take on custom forms and colour schemes which in
themselves in some cases relate to informalism.

In her work series „networks“, a  sophisticated melting process is used by the artist to transform the material from its delicate consistency into a useable artistic, three-dimensional material which constantly reforms to take on a biomorphic shape. The process itself highlights an interesting tension between the artificial and the natural.

In both a thematic and formal sense, this work is loosely related to the work of the so-called
„tassels,“ another group with which Patricia Kranz is associated with on the business spectrum.
Here, the term „tassel“ refers to an old handcraft technique, which is used by the artist and in this
case gives the three-dimensional objects a compact, seemingly plushy surface. In contrast to the fabriclike
structure of the mass produced original bags, this work draws up a new, compressed form.

In her series entitled „Moult“, Patricia Kranz now uses plastic strech foil, which normally serves as packaging material. The sculptures are based on impressions of objects from nature and everyday life such as branches, stones or discarded parts of cars. While some works still refer to their origin, others have turned into bizarre objects whose physicality is emphasized by the black stretch foil.

In her latest group of work „Photography“, Patricia Kranz finally returns to two-dimensionality. The works –  origin from the so-called „networks“ – a series of objects that are captured by the artist with a macro lens. Whereas before the overall view of the organic sculptures was relevant, the focus of attention is now at the detail. The high magnification of the image highlights the spezific nature of the material. Grid points of the printing process, slogans, letters or icons from the advertising world become visible. However, these details remain subordinated as the artist is looking for abstract pictures with qualities of paintings and grafics. The previously alienated bags are again – this time from a photographic perspective – questioned and transformed.

Since 2022 Kranz has been making sculptures out of cotton fabric. Starting from the macro shots of her plasic bag objects, she has them printed. The possibility of serial reproduction of a single motif on a length of fabric, results in new perspectives and impulses that expand the spectrum of the artist`s sculptural work.