Textile Reliefs 
Fiber Reliefs

In den 1960 er Jahren gab es, in einigen Laendern, wie den USA, Niederland, Polen u. a. eine kleine Gruppe von Kuenstlern die sich um die Erneuerung der, inzwischen totgelaufenen, klassischen Tapisserie, bemuehten. In den darauf folgenden Jahren, arbeiteten immer mehr Kuenstler vor allem aus Japan, Skandinavien, Spanien, einigen Osteuropaeischen Laendern, und andres wo, in diesem Feld. So entstand eine eigenstaendige Sparte, die fuer einige Jahre ein interessantes kuenstlerisches Potential zeigte. Bald „Internationalisierte“ sich die Szene und verlor an Originalitaet. Von 1960 bis ca. 1980 waren meine damalige Partnerin Ritzi Jacobi und ich als Team taetig. Die damals entstandenen Textilen Reliefs wurden weltweit in bekannten Kunstmuseen ausgestellt und angekauft.

Drei grosse Textile Reliefs. 1976, Einzelausstellung, „Gesellschaft der Freunde Junger Kunst in der Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden. Foto: Robert Haeuser*
Three large fibre reliefs, 1976, solo exhibition, „Gesellschaft der Freunde Junger Kunst in der Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden”*

Transilvanica I, 1972, Sammlung Museum Berck, Heidelberg, 600 x 500 x 150 cm, variable Dimension*
Transilvanica I, 1972, Collection  Museum Berck, Heidelberg, 600 x 500 x 150 cm, variable dimensions*


In the 60s, classical tapestry had become obsolete. A small group of artists from several countries such as the USA, the Netherlands and Poland aimed to renew it. In the years to come, more and more artists, particularly from Japan, Scandinavia, Spain, and some East European countries, and, started to work in what soon became a somehow distinct field within the fine arts. For a while, this group was rather interesting in terms of its artistic potential, but as the scene became increasingly “international” and – excepting some cases – it lost its originality and creative power. Decorative elements and the focus on fashionable design brought about changes in the field. From 1960 until approx. 1980, I worked in a team with my partner at the time, Ritzi Jacobi. The fiber reliefs we produced were exhibited and purchased in well-known art museums.   

In our work colour is not dealt with in the same way as in painting. Our use of colour is at once restricted and extensive; each apparent colour is made up of innumerable shades and tones further enhanced by the sculptural play of light and shadow on the relief. For us, monochrome pieces are the realization of the intensification of colour. This brings with it a simplification of the work.

Although the tactile quality of the works is immediately inviting, the purely visual sensation remains primary. One does not have to touch it to understand the piece; touch is merely a starting point.

Our textile pieces of the seventies are monumental works that were made without being commissioned. Their massive surfaces (between five and twenty square meters) were essential to their compositional development. In addition, the viewing distance demanded by the scale reduced the immediate sensation of weaving as the medium, and forced the viewer to consider the greater, overall concerns. Our other works – drawings, objects, and sculpture – function in a variety of sizes.

In our textile work we have made a series of technical inventions which do not exist on their own, but as part of the whole. Even though we redefine the basic qualities of the materials and processes we use, this is not the primary intention of our work. For instance, incorporating a textile cable in the weaving occurs in a single action and allows for extraordinary growth; the surface develops in a manner quite different from the usual meticulous, slow method of weaving. The cable is like a drawn gesture in weaving; sometimes an actual drawing even becomes part of the whole textile composition. (1980)*





Einzelausstellung, im The Detroit Institute of Arts, 1984, links vorne im Bild Transilvanica II, Sammlung The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto*. Foto: Dirk Bakker
Solo exhibition, in The Detroit Institute of Arts, 1984, on the left Transilvanica II, Collection The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto*


Relief, 1984, Einzelausstellung  im Musee d´Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 1984*
Relief, 1984, solo exhibition, in Musee d´Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 1984*





Romanica I, 1978, im Besitz der Autoren, 330 x 950 x 100 cm,  Einzelausstellung im Musee d´Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, im Jahr 1984 *
Romanica I, 1978, collection of the artists, 330 x 950 x 100 cm, solo exhibition in Musee d´Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, in 1984*


Transilvanica II, 1972,  Sammlung Kunsthalle Mannheim. 300 x 600 x 80 cm, Foto in der Kunsthalle Mannheim, mit Skulpturen von Henri Moore und Henri Laurens*
Transilvanica II, 1972, Collection Kunsthalle Mannheim. 300 x 600 x 80 cm, photo in the Kunsthalle Mannheim, with sculptures by Henri Moore and Henri Laurens