Site Review: Laurie Borggreve

Site Review: Laurie Borggreve

Innovative Use of Everyday Materials

By Richard Malinsky, Arts Editor

Laurie Borggreve is a mixed-media sculptress who delights in discovering new ways to use conventional materials. Hundreds, if not thousands, of individual components that alternate between precise assembly and fluid composition characterize the work on her website.

Her ambitious compositions are informed by current events, social or political points in time, and the natural world. Incredible detail and subtle messages invite the viewer to go beyond the obvious and engage in close-up observation that encourages dialogue and personal interpretation.

I was captivated by her lead image “A Peaceful Coexistence Part 1.” Its sparkling colorful simplicity clearly and instantly illustrated its title. The seemingly random composition is actually a very carefully designed gathering of diverse colored objects floating gracefully within its square format. The mysterious shadowy forms in the background entice you to look more closely and see how they were created. I immediately went to her “Gallery” page to find out more about this piece.

Laurie Borggreve's work, colorful tinted adhesive pieces and lead on a board.
Laurie Borggreve, A Peaceful Coexistence Part 1, 2018. Tinted adhesive, metal, LED lights on Ultraleather covered foam board, 20″ x 20″ x 2″

Not only did I discover its fascinating combination of materials, but also that those shadowy forms in the background are LED lights. Unfortunately, the images do not enlarge as big as the lead piece.

The same piece in the first image, with backlight.
A Peaceful Coexistence Part 1 – Lit

Borggreve’s focus on discovering new ways to combine everyday materials is most evident in her tinting, dying, and layering, and her employing of various mixtures to adhere these layers to metal, glass, and leather. Each piece is a technical challenge requiring quite a bit of creative discipline.

Her provocative work “Hidden Desires” melds an alluring concept with technical wizardry. Its execution required hand-cutting rows of individual circles placed onto pins, on a leather-covered foam board. The circles are positioned at specific depths on the metal pins to create a secondary visual pattern. The circular mirrors in the background reflect hidden letters painted onto the underside of the larger disks central to the composition. Speaking of this work Borggreve comments, “I chose the word ‘pussy’ because it is provocative in nature without being overly offensive.”

Laurie Borggreve's piece, with small circles of colored metal in front of small mirrors.
Laurie Borggreve, Hidden Desire, 2016. Pigment dyed leather, metal, mirror on leather covered foam board, 19″ x 19″ x 2″
A close-up of the small circles and mirrors.
Hidden Desire detail

“Uncaged” is the first in a series of birdcages that serve as analogies for life’s conundrums. The bars on the cage are spaced widely enough to allow the bird to exit, if not tethered by a chain. The chain also keeps the bird from falling onto needles below. “‘Uncaged’ reflects situations in life that seem confining or restrictive,” Borggreve comments. “But may also be preserving one’s well-being at the same time.”

Photo of an artifical bird in a cage made of knitting needles and leather
Laurie Borggreve, Uncaged, 2016. Metal, knitting needles, artificial bird, crystals, leather on leather covered foam board, 12″ x 12″ x 12″

Over the past fifteen years Borggreve has continued exploring fine art and design while living and working in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York. She is an awarded sculptor with over eighteen exhibitions, public commissions, and private collections. In June 2018 she was featured in The Woven Tale Press Vol VI #5.

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