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© Frieda Toranzo Jaeger. Courtesy of the artist and Trautwein Herleth, Berlin. Photo credit: Ramiro Chaves



Painting, Textile


Oil, Canvas, Thread


Embroidered (hand)


150 x 90 cm


Presented by the Contemporary Art Society through Valeria Napoleone XX CAS, 2023/24

Ownership history:

Purchased from Trautwein Herleth, Berlin by the Contemporary Art Society through Valeria Napoleone XX Contemporary Art Society (VNXXCAS), 2024; presented to Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, 2023/24
Mexican artist Frieda Toranzo Jaeger’s work The disorder of desire has been acquired for the National Galleries of Scotland through the Valeria Napoleone XX Contemporary Art Society award, which supports the acquisition of significant works by a living woman artist for a museum collection every year.

Conceptually driven and with a strong political dimension, Frieda Toranzo Jaeger takes an expanded approach to painting, considering issues of desire, joy, pleasure and free expression from a queer, feminist and decolonial perspective. Her practice draws on visual references from technology, the natural world and the history of Western art, often integrating Indigenous Mexican embroidery techniques to create works which are playful, sensual and commanding.

The disorder of desire (2022) expresses Toranzo Jaeger’s interest in creating works unbound from classification. The car is a recurring motif in Toranzo Jaeger’s work, representative of desire and the ultimate symbol of capitalist consumption. Here an isolated car dashboard seems to be consumed by the embroidered flowers and plants which surround this contemporary ruin. The flowers recall symbolic or decorative features of Renaissance or seventeenth-century Dutch still life painting. However, the embroidery operates on multiple layers, disrupting the painted surface and highlighting the value of Indigenous traditions and labour, too often overlooked as being the work of women or so-called ‘other ‘non-Western’ communities. The title references a recent history of sexuality by Jack Halberstam, explored through the notion of wildness and the potential for liberation through the unrestrained and unknowable.

For over ten years, the National Galleries of Scotland has actively sought to increase the representation of women artists in its holdings. More recently, work has begun to understand the colonial histories underpinning much of the collection, which spans 1300 to the present day, with collection development actively aiming to further counter the historical imbalances and structural inequalities at play. As a work that offers a contemporary critique of the history of Western art, while opening space to consider queer agency, The disorder of desire provokes discussion about the context of the collection and will enrich the stories that can be told, bringing queer, feminist and Indigenous perspectives to the fore.

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