Johanna’s works blend Pattern with Clutter!

Johanna's works blend Pattern with Clutter!

We are fascinated by the latest project by Johanna Friedman – a sculptural wall piece displayed at the entrance of a school in Sweden. The artist calls her creation a Super-Form: a form that is itself made up of iterations of smaller cell-like forms. And what the piece unique is that it is not “knitted”, but rather “woven” on a TC2 loom! We are delighted to feature Johanna as a part of our “What’s on your Loom” series!  

Tröjan (The Sweater), 2018

Hand-woven jacquard | Trevira CS and wool, Powder-coated Steel

Johanna Friedman was commissioned by the City of Gothenburg to create a permanent site-specific installation at Kärraskolan – an elementary school in Kärra, Gothenburg. Given a free hand, Johanna created a sculptural wall piece for the main entrance to the school’s new wing.

Many small sweaters, embracing and intertwined – together they form a large sweater hanging on a giant hanger on a nail on the wall. From far away it may seem that the sweater is made of a plain knit pattern, but up close a hive of small sweaters is revealed. Arm-in-arm or linking together, they form a cable knit surface. The sweater is a kind of “super-form”, a form that is itself made up of iterations of smaller cell-like forms. And the piece is not knitted, but woven on a TC2 loom, in wool and Trevira CS, a high-tech flameproof material.

The work is made to the scale of a children’s sweater hanging on an “adult size” clothes hanger. The sweater is made with the children’s perspective in mind. The artist wanted it to be fun and unexpected, something the children could hopefully look at for a long time and that would encourage their imagination. Also, the intention was that it would become a familiar landmark at the school. “Let’s meet by the sweater”, she imagined the children saying.

Since the piece was installed at a school it’s tempting to also mention that it can be understood as a reminder that we are all small building blocks that together comprise the world – that together, we are all a kind of “super-form”.


Johanna is a Swedish artist, living and working in San Francisco. She makes textiles based on photography, video, text and popular culture, and likes to seize the moment in between pattern (organized) and clutter (chaotic). She has a BFA from Konstfack in Stockholm and an MFA from California College of the Arts in San Francisco.  Her work has been shown in numerous art galleries and museums around the world, such as Hordaland Kunstsenter in Bergen, Norway, Sputnik Auction in Tokyo, Japan and The Swedish Embassy in Washington DC. Her work is represented in three national collections in Sweden, among them at the Malmö Museum of Art.