Linde Burkhardt Texte

Alessandro Mendini: „The Dowry of the Princess of Trebizond“


In the long artistic career of Linde Burkhardt, these seven elements for “The Dowry of the Princess of Trebizond” signal the most mature and profound moment of her creativity. We are already familiar with the skilled interplay of forms, compositions, inscriptions, signs and colors that has always distinguished Linde’s works. Yet now the Trebizond project changes substance, for here the motivation becomes more substantial than formal. Here we see, explicitly, a transition from form to content. Indeed, whereas hitherto the compositional interplay was self-referential and entirely concentrated in itself, in her most recent work the strength of legend and myth surrounding a story of yesteryear links the shapes of these seven steles to the description and symbols of a fascinating imagination. The princess’s romantic adventure, her feats, her journey into the unknown all served to inspire Linde to give her seven new objects a descriptive and performative character, almost as though they signaled a theatrical performance in seven scenes, the pivotal points of a lost play. Thus these steles, modern and medieval in equal measure, become places of overlapping idolatry, where every component, piece, material and color strengthens the object’s presence on the basis of its meaning, in a kind of ascent towards the infinity of time. All this is, in fact, the dowry of Esther, Empress Johanna’s daughter: the jewels, the perfume bottles, amphorae, vessels and lucky charms of an imaginary caravan that sets out on a journey from the Black Sea into the unknown Occident to meet the young King of Portugal. Images of the Orient and Occident are the two elements that Linde introduces in this project. They are manifested in the seven steles that represent the seven gifts the Empress gives her daughter on the ship as she leaves on her great adventure, never to return. The seven gifts represented the seven cities of the empire, to which Linde Burkhardt’s iconographic project now bears witness, each with its name. And on these steles, full of iconography, Linde finds the motive and the skill to express her aesthetic creed and also to represent herself.

A motivated project.

Images of the exhibition pieces