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Exhibition | 10.02.2021 - 10.04.2021
Venue | Universitätsgalerie im Heiligenkreuzer Hof / Sala Terrena,
Schönlaterngasse 5, 1010 Wien

The exhibition Fabrics in Space emerged out of the initiative of a group of students from the University of Applied Arts and the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. It has been coordinated by Ulla Rossek (University of Applied Arts Vienna), accompanied by Sabeth Buchmann (Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna). We would like to thank the Collection and Archive of the University of Applied Arts Vienna for their cooperation.


© Stoffe im Raum, Universitätsgalerie im Heiligenkreuzer Hof, Grafik: Elisabeth Danzer, Richard Klippfeld, Paul Zentner


In her text Fabrics in Space (1930), the textile artist and weaver Otti Berger describes textiles from close up, with their innermost laws, as defined by the weave, colour combination and variation of materials. Her demands for systematic research alongside the intuitive invention of “lively” textiles also comprise modernity’s demand for the functional and healthy provision of the whole population with the materials that meet our basic needs. A fabric must be “grasped”, only when it is grasped can it be understood according to its most important quality: tactility.

Textile as an artistic medium can only be thought of in the interweaving of textiles with a cultural and social history, with the development of textile production processes in craft and industrial manufacture, with the global distribution of labour and resources. This exhibition begins with small, textile pieces, from which the complex systems of the fabric, its materiality, the conditions of its manufacturing and the context of its use can be read.

At the centre of the exhibition are sample pieces by artists from the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts (today the University of Applied Arts), the Vienna Workshop, Bauhaus and the Russian Vkhutemas. From there, the exhibition draws connections to works of contemporary artists, whose central concerns are with textiles as a fundamentally political medium which questions the traditional concepts of “high” art, image, object and authorship.

Precisely because physical work with textiles by nature refuses the speed of a larger, immaterial system, it always raises questions of economy and the value of materials. Hence, the exhibition displays an interest in viewing textiles close-up, which always also refers to larger systems through the programming thinking that is inherent to them.

Participating artists:

Julia Znoj, Kathrin Wojtowicz, Ingrid Wiener, Julian Tromp, Philip Tankarian, Lisa Strasser, Marielena Stark, Vanessa Schmidt, Judith Raum, Sveta Mordovskaya, Małgorzata Mirga-Tas, Maria Likarz Strauss, Jonida Laçi, Richard Klippfeld, Erika Giovanna Klien, Katharina Hölzl, Sophie Esslinger, Friedl Dicker, Marei Buhmann, Geta Brătescu, Anna Bochkova, Quirin Babl, Christian Ludwig Attersee