Hannah Ryggen. Woven Manifestos

SEPTEMBER 26, 2019 – JANURAY 12, 2020

With her monumental tapestries the artist Hannah Ryggen (1894–1970) created a powerful, politically inspired oeuvre. Working from a small self-sufficient farm on the west coast of Norway, through her artworks she launched attacks on Hitler, Franco, and Mussolini, and made strong statements of support for the victims of fascism and National Socialism. On the occasion of Norway being Guest of Honour at the 2019 Frankfurt Book Fair, the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt is dedicating the Swedish-Norwegian artist a major monographic exhibition that will provide the first in-depth insight into her oeuvre to the German public. In the about twenty-five tapestries presented, she takes on the fundamental issues in society: the atrocities of war, the abuse of power, our dependence on nature, and familial relationships as well as those with our fellow men and women. Many of her large-scale works deal with the events and political debates in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s, with her socialist beliefs shining through.

Hannah Ryggen, Vi lever på en stjerne (We are Living on a Star), 1958, Tapestry weave in wool and linen, 400 x 300 cm, Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum (National Museum of Decorative Arts and Design), Trondheim © H. Ryggen, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019, Photo: Thor Nielsen

Monumental, political, uncompromising: The Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt presents the extraordinary tapestries of Hannah Ryggen

The exhibition focuses on Ryggen’s monumental tapestries and aims to examine how the artist represented a different kind of modernism—one in which elements from folk art and mythology were mixed with contemporary issues. Ryggen explored an entirely new range of motifs while using a traditional medium for an unprecedented purpose: making portable murals that communicated her potent political messages to the public. In these times of increasing inequality, nationalism, and populism, Ryggen’s uncompromising artworks continue to resonate, and provide an uncanny reminder of the need to fight for the principles of humanism.

Hannah Ryggen, Blod i gresset (Blood in the Grass), 1966, Tapestry weave in wool and linen with pile, 240 x 290 cm, KODE - Art Museums and Composers Homes,Norway, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019, Photo: Dag Fosse / KODE

Press information on the exhibition "Hannah Ryggen. Woven Manifestos"

22.08.2019 | Monumental, political, uncompromising: The Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt presents the etraordinary tapestries of Hannah Ryggen.

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Press information on the exhibition "Hannah Ryggen"

08.07.2019 | On the occasion of Norway’s turn as Guest of Honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2019, the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt is dedicating the Swedish-Norwegian artist a major monographic exhibition that will provide the first in-depth insight into her oeuvre to the German public.

Hannah Ryggen, Drømmedød (Death of Dreams), 1936, Tapestry weave in wool and linen, 235 x 273 cm, Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum (National Museum of Decorative Arts and Design), Trondheim © H. Ryggen, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019, Photo: Anders Sundet Solberg

Hannah Ryggen, Livet glir forbi (Life passes by), 1939, 190 x 185 cm, private collection, Norway © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019, Photo: Jørn Hagen

Hannah Ryggen, 6. october 1942 (October 6, 1942), 1943, Tapestry in wool and linen,175 x 419,5 cm, Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum (National Museum of Decorative Arts and Design), Trondheim © H. Ryggen, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019,

Hannah Ryggen, Grini, 1945, Tapestry weave in wool and linen, 191,5 x 168,5 cm, © Trondheim Kunstmuseum, Norway, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019.

Hannah Ryggen, Jul Kvale, 1956, Tapestry weave in wool and linen, 200 x 190 cm, Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum (National Museum of Decorative Arts and Design), Trondheim © H. Ryggen, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019, Photo: Anders Sundet Solberg

Hannah Ryggen, Vi lever på en stjerne (We are Living on a Star), 1958, Tapestry weave in wool and linen, 400 x 300 cm, Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum (National Museum of Decorative Arts and Design), Trondheim © H. Ryggen, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019, Photo: Thor Nielsen

Hannah Ryggen, Blod i gresset (Blood in the Grass), 1966, Tapestry weave in wool and linen with pile, 240 x 290 cm, KODE - Art Museums and Composers Homes,Norway, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019, Photo: Dag Fosse / KODE

Hannah Ryggen, Untitled (Self Portrait), 1970, Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum (National Museum of Decorative Arts and Design), Trondheim © H. Ryggen / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019, Photo: Anders Thor Nielsen

Hannah Ryggen at the loom, around 1964, Adresseavisen, Trondheim.