Discover the tapestries of Hannah Ryggen, one of the most influential Scandinavian artists of the 20th century.
Hannah Ryggen created numerous monumental tapestries in her lifetime. Originally trained as a painter, Ryggen began weaving on a standing loom on her self-sufficient farm on the West coast of Norway. She challenged the formal traditions of Norwegian 17th and 18th century textile folk art, combining figurative and abstract elements. She also experimented and developed colors using local plants and other materials she foraged. Her tapestries bravely tackled the social issues of the time, from the atrocities of war to the abuse of power. She created work in direct response to Hitler, Franco, and Mussolini and made powerful statements of support to the victims of Fascism and Nazism. This book features about 25 of Ryggen’s signature tapestries including Etiopia (Ethiopia), Drømmedød (Death of Dreams), and Vi lever på en stjerne (We Are Living on a Star). It shows her work representing a different kind of modernism where elements of folk art and mythology are mixed with contemporary life. Haunting and powerful, Ryggen’s work was unprecedented at the time, as it expressed her political messages to the public.
Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt
September 26, 2019–January 12, 2020
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MARIT PAASCHE is an art historian based in Oslo. She recently published a highly acclaimed monograph on Hannah Ryggen.
ESTHER SCHLICHT is Head of Exhibitions and Curator at the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt.