Looking Forward, Looking Back #6
Silvia Eiblmayr și Marta Kowalewska
Thursday, October 10, 2019, 19:00
Rezidența BRD Scena9, 32 I.L.Caragiale St., Bucharest
free access, event held in English
The Institute of the Present (IP) presents the sixth edition of its lecture series Looking Forward, Looking Back, the second dedicated to questions opened up by the recent historiographies of textile art in Eastern European and international space during 1960–1980, a period which determined a paradigm shift in regards to the use, interpretation and theoretical and artistic questioning of the medium. Redefining the possibilities of working with the textiles, of approaching their materiality, organicity and immersive quality in the early 1960s, an era of turmoil and transformations in international geopolitics, caused the textile art to reposition itself and to enter the field of visual arts, to leave its marginal position and to follow a steadily ascending trajectory until the beginning of the 1980s. The transition from the formalism specific to applied arts to the autonomy of the medium took place through the articulation of a new type of discourse, which reflected a radicalisation of artistic vision, the formulation of a new aesthetic which transgressed clichés and managed to imagine a specific positioning towards certain local traditions and communal (ritualic) practices, against the ideological and political tensions or certain minimalist and conceptual concerns in art. The appearance of international networks to promote new trends in textile art such as the Lausanne Biennial (1962) or the Lódź Tapestry Triennial (1972) or the opening of international exhibitions such as Wall Hangings (MoMA, 1969), Perspectief in textiel (Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 1969) manage to bring to the forefront internationally landmark positions of Eastern European art whose practices synthesise the then quest for the spatialisation of medium, the sculpturalisation and the abstraction of forms. The present talks are aimed at re-contextualising the narratives of textile art, turning their eyes to certain moments and case studies, often forgotten or overlooked.
“Angel of Anarchy.” Fabrics between Allegory and Materiality
The changes of paradigm that art has experienced after WWII have brought about the expansion of painting and sculpture into performatively charged spaces that included and involved the body in new and radical ways. Within this genre crossing process one of the material parts of painting, the canvas, has gained ambivalent independence that had implied shifts in its ways of use, and its signification. The presentation will discuss a series of crucial works and will particularly point out meaningful gender related differences in this development as well various conceptual approaches in the use of fabrics in the 1960s and 1970s.
Silvia Eiblmayr, PhD in art history, works as a curator for contemporary art and lives in Vienna. From 1998–2008 she was director of the Galerie im Taxispalais in Innsbruck, and from 1993–1995 director of the Salzburger Kunstverein. In 2009 she was commissary for the Austrian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale together with Valie Export. Since 2004 member of the artistic board of Kontakt Art Collection. She was visiting professor and lecturer, among others, at: the Academy of Fine Arts Munich; Institute of Art History, University of Zurich; Goldsmiths College, University of London; Institute of Art history, University of Vienna; IKM/ University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. She is author and publisher of numerous texts and publications on modern and contemporary art and published “Woman as Picture” – The Female Body in 20th Century Art (Berlin: Reimer Verlag, 1993/2003).
Marta Kowalewska. The Makers of Success
The lecture will discuss the context, the sources and the development of the community which emerged around the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and the pivotal role it played in the new perception of fibre art around the world. This art discipline grew in popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, with the first generation of post-war students, including Magdalena Abakanowicz, Wojciech Sadley, Jolanta Owidzka, Maria Chojnacka and Barbara Levittoux-Świderska. They had the support of two excellent educators: Eleonora Plutyńska, who believed that the degradation of textile art resulted from the divide between design and manufacture, and that artists no longer produced their own designs; and Mieczysław Szymański, who placed fibre art at the mainstream of contemporary artistic currents, and for whom fibre art was a domain of solving formal problems typical to the other arts, such as colour, value, rhythm, proportion. This approach was powerfully inspiring for young people and opened up new expressive possibilities.
Marta Kowalewska is an art historian, curator for contemporary art exhibitions, academic teacher, and Chief Curator in Central Museum of Textiles in Łódź (CMWL). She is co-editor of various publications and contributor to the book From Tapestry to Fiber Art: The Lausanne Biennials 1962–1995. She has authored numerous critical texts published in professional magazines and catalogues of exhibitions and a series of interviews with prominent Polish artists. She was curator of exhibitions in CMWL among others of Rebellion of the Matter (on 15 editions of International Textile Triennial), Metamorphism—Magdalena Abakanowicz solo show and exhibitions in the Academy of Art Łódź. She was also an academic consultant to the exhibition Splendor of Textile in the Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw (and co-editor of the catalogues). She is a curator of the 16th International Triennial of Tapestry in Łódź 2019.
Looking Forward, Looking Back #6 is part of the project Uncanny Fabrics.
Cultural project co-funded by the Administration of the National Cultural Fund.
Event organised with support from the Austrian Cultural Forum Bucharest.
Partners: Rezidența BRD Scena9/ Fundația9, CEREFREA/ Villa Noël.
Event identity: Sebastian Pren
The project does not necessarily represent the standpoint of the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. AFCN cannot be held liable for the content of the project or the manner in which the outcomes of the project may be used. These shall devolve entirely on the beneficiary of the financing.