GRENZEN ÜBERSCHREITEN: Mitteleuropäische Künstlerinnen und Designerinnen
Internationales Symposium im Rahmen der Ausstellung: STERNE, FEDERN, QUASTEN. Die Wiener-Werkstätte-Künstlerin Felice Rix-Ueno (1893–1967)

Video 1: Sabine Plakolm-Forsthuber: Ungeplante Karrieren in Israel: Helene Roth und Dora Gad

Die Keynote befasst sich mit den Karrieren der in Wien ausgebildeten Architektinnen Helene Roth (1904–1995) und Dora Gad (1912–2003) in Israel. Aufgrund des zunehmenden Antisemitismus emigrierten die beiden Jüdinnen 1934 bzw. 1936 ins Mandatsgebiet Palästina. Während in Wien die Bauwirtschaft stagnierte, eröffneten sich den jungen Architektinnen im Exilland unerwartete berufliche Chancen. Beide haben sie, vornehmlich im Bereich der Innenarchitektur, ergriffen. In Tel Aviv oder Jerusalem entwarfen sie vorzugsweise für europäische Emigrant*innen eine mitteleuropäisch geprägte Wohnkultur, die sich von der nüchternen Bauhausarchitektur abhob. Helene Roth arbeitete in Gemeinschaft mit dem deutschen Architekten Alfred Abraham. Dora Gad erhielt nach der Staatsgründung Israels 1948 auch viele staatliche Aufträge, darunter die Ausstattung der Knesset, die der Nationalbibliothek, des Israel Museums, die Ausstattung großer Luxusschiffe (ZIM) oder von EL AL Flugzeugen etc. Dora Gad und Helene Roth zählen zu den „First Ladies of Interior Design in Israel“.

Sabine Plakolm-Forsthuber ist Kunsthistorikerin und Ao. Professorin am Institut für Kunstgeschichte der TU Wien sowie der Universität Wien. 1986 Promotion an der Universität Wien, 2000 Habilitation an der TU Wien. Zu ihren zahlreichen Veröffentlichungen gehören Arbeiten über österreichische Künstlerinnen des 20. Jahrhunderts, die Architektur Florentiner Frauenklöster im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert, über zeitgenössischen Schulbau in Österreich, Architektur in Steinhof, Nationalsozialistische Kunstpolitik in Wien, die Wiener Bankgebäude des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts sowie Pionierinnen der Wiener Architektur.

Keynote Sabine Plakolm-Forsthuber (Technische Universität Wien): Ungeplante Karrieren in Israel: Helene Roth und Dora Gad

Video 2: Annemieke Houben: „Denk nur nicht an Wien“: The International Network of Christa Ehrlich

Annemieke Houben (Kunsthistorikerin, Amsterdam): „Denk nur nicht an Wien“: The International Network of Christa Ehrlich

Young, feminine and Viennese, designer Christa Ehrlich presented quite a distinctive profile in the Dutch silver industry of the 1920s and 30s. Her innovative designs ended up on many modern Dutch tables, right down to the royal yacht. In her designs, her Viennese background was never far away. Letters from her private archive reveal an active international network of young female creatives, partly former students at the Kunstgewerbeschule, in which friendship and professional ties intertwined.

Annemieke Houben studied Art History and Early Modern Literature at the University of Amsterdam. She spent several years studying rare Dutch folk songs at the Meertens Research Institute and published two anthologies of historical texts. In 2022, she curated an exhibition on Christa Ehrlich for the Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden.

Video 3: Jasna Galjer: The case Antoinette Krasnik-Sommaruga (1874–1956)

Jasna Galjer (University of Zagreb): Transnational exchange as a site of women interaction in modern design: The case Antoinette Krasnik-Sommaruga (1874–1956)

Taking the transnational exchanges in Central European context at the turn of the century as a starting point, the paper explores its formative, multilayered and controversial relations through the career of Antoinette Krasnik-Sommaruga (1874-1956). Applying cross-disciplinary methods of design history, art history, cultural history and curatorial studies, it analyzes her transnational career as a case study of women in the field of design. In only a few years, from 1898 to 1907, she traversed the path from an anonymous student of Koloman Moser at the Kunstgwerbeschule in Vienna to an internationally accomplished designer. Her oeuvre is characterised by highly individualised, specific visual language that achieved a synthesis of symbolic and functional codes of design which subverted the gender roles of a woman-artist, professional designer and the stereotypes of the “female” aesthetics. Yet, like all too many women artists and designers of her generation, she remained marginalised in the framework of patriarchy. Based on extensive research of archival sources, museum and private collections, the paper examines the representation and reception of her interaction in the field of modern design, including its medialization and musealization. By tracing the methods used by design historians and curatoral practices to record and construct the narratives of that interaction, the aim is to contribute to critical rethinking the structural role of women in networking modern design discourse.

Jasna Galjer is an art historian and professor at University of Zagreb. Before joining the University in 2001 she worked at the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb as a curator of the collection of design and architecture. Her research interests focus on design history, history, theory and criticism of architecture, cultural history, and the relations of modernism and nationalism in art historical discourses of the 20th century. She is the author of various essays and monographs on design history, history of exhibitions, and cultural history of periodicals. She has curated and co-curated several exhibitions, including Art Deco and Art in Croatia between the Two Wars (2010) and Reflections of Bauhaus (2019). Her most recent book is The Foreign Designer Antoinette Krasnik and the Wiener Moderne (2020).

Video 4: Julia Secklehner: Women’s Networks of Modernist Photography in Central Europe

Julia Secklehner (Masaryk University Brno) Socially Engaged Avantgardes: Women’s Networks of Modernist Photography in Central Europe, 1918–1948

This paper retraces the social and professional networks of leftist, women avant-garde photographers in Central Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. It argues that their activities led to a collective practice, which paired artistic experimentation with social commitment and shaped a socially engaged, modernist photography that developed transnationally and built on the close collaboration among women photographers in Central Europe, as well as contact with their colleagues in cities such as Berlin, Dessau and Paris. With a critical overview of these female networks in relation to personal contacts, associations, and exhibitions, the paper proposes a new approach to the study of avant-garde photography in Central Europe, which sets women’s contributions in focus. It focuses on connections between avant-garde, activist and pedagogic practices that formed the core of the work of photographers/artists such as Irena Blühová, Judit Kárász, Lucia Moholy, Edith Tudor-Hart and Friedl Dicker-Brandeis. The paper reveals alternative networks and dynamics of avant-garde practice shaped by
the new opportunities, but also the limitations, that the artists at its centre faced on the basis of their gender, their leftist political convictions, and their Jewish origins. Ultimately, it argues that a focus on this female activist avant-garde brings to light new perspectives on the interplay

between art and social engagement beyond the masculine paradigms of the avant-garde (Pollock 2010), and shifts focus on artistic practices that were strongly shaped by women’s contributions and interdisciplinary approaches to the medium of photography. Julia Secklehner specialises in the history of modern art and visual culture in Central Europe. Her current work is part of the collaborative project “Continuity / Rupture: Art
and Architecture in Central Europe, 1918–1939 (CRAACE),“ based at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. She holds a PhD in the History of Art (Courtauld Institute of Art, 2018), and an MPhil in Czech (University of Glasgow, 2017). Her research focuses on identity politics in modern art and photography, intersections between high and popular art, culture outside urban centres and socially engaged art. She co-convenes The Lausanne Project and the event series “Creativity from Vienna to the World: Transatlantic exchanges in design and pedagogy” and is an editorial board member of Art East Central and the Journal for Austrian-American History.

Video 5: Ashley Callahan: Sisters Ilonka and Mariska Karasz

Ashley Callahan (Art Historian, Georgia USA) Bringing Modernism from Budapest to New York City: Sisters Ilonka and Mariska Karasz

Ilonka and Mariska Karasz established multifaceted careers as artists and designers in New York City in the early twentieth century. Mariska (1898–1960) excelled as a fashion designer, creating a distinctive clothing style through her inclusion of traditional applique and embroidery from her native Hungary. Ilonka (1896–1981) found success in numerous fields by blending modernism with a folk aesthetic, working as a painter, printmaker, and designer of textiles, furniture, silver, ceramics, and wallpaper. This presentation will introduce the sisters and discuss how they incorporated Central European influences in their work.

Ashley Callahan is an independent scholar and curator in Athens, Georgia, United States, specializing in modern and contemporary American decorative arts and craft. Her books include Modern Threads: Fashion and Art by Mariska Karasz; Enchanting Modern: Ilonka Karasz, 1896-1981; Frankie Welch‘s Americana: Fashion, Scarves, and Politics; Southern Tufts: The Regional Origins and National Craze for Chenille Fashion; and, as co-author, Crafting History: Textiles, Metals, and Ceramics at the University of Georgia, each of which was accompanied by a related exhibition. She is a contributor to Ornament Magazine and has written for the Magazine Antiques, Metalsmith, and the Journal of Modern Craft. Callahan received her B.A., magna cum laude, from Sewanee and her M.A., with honors, in the history of American decorative arts from the Smithsonian Institution and Parsons School of Design.

Video 6: Lisa Ortner-Kreil: Zur Freundinnenschaft von Vally Wieselthier, Kiki Kogelnik und Renate Fuhry

isa Ortner-Kreil (Kunstforum Wien): History Repeating? Zur Freundinnenschaft von Vally Wieselthier, Kiki Kogelnik und Renate Fuhry

Der Vortrag stellt drei Künstlerinnen ins Zentrum, die sich gegenseitig wesentlich angeregt, unterstützt und bedingt haben: Vally Wieselthier, Kiki Kogelnik und Renate Fuhry. Eine Grenzüberschreitung im Hinblick auf diese drei Künstlerinnen kann nicht nur hinsichtlich der Aufenthaltsorte und Lebensmittelpunkte verstanden werden, sondern auch im Sinne der inhaltlichen Ausrichtung und künstlerischen Medien, die zum Einsatz kamen. Die bekannteste Künstlerin aus dieser Trias ist zweifellos Kiki Kogelnik (1935–1997), die neben Malereien, Werken auf Papier und skulpturalen Arbeiten aus PVC, Fiberglas und Leichtmetall, ab 1974 begann, mit Keramik zu arbeiten. In Kogelniks Besitz befanden sich vier Keramiken von Vally Wieselthier (1895–1945). Wieselthier war eine der bekanntesten Keramiker:innen der Wiener Werkstätte, die 1928 in die USA emigrierte. Ihre Kunst, aber auch ihre Biografie „auf beiden Seiten des Atlantiks“ haben Kiki Kogelnik inspiriert, selbst mit Keramik zu arbeiten. Während sich Wieselthier und Kogelnik nie persönlich kennenlernten, unterhielten Kiki Kogelnik und die Keramikkünstlerin Renate Fuhry (geb. 1938) ab 1969 eine veritable Freundinnenschaft. 1974 ermöglichte ihr Renate Fuhry den Eintritt in ihr Atelier und brachte ihr grundlegende Techniken bei.

Der Vortrag fragt nach solidarischer Unterstützung zwischen Künstlerinnen und setzt die keramischen Arbeiten und Viten von Wieselthier, Kogelnik und Fuhry in Bezug zueinander. Nachgegangen wird auch der Frage, ob gute künstlerische Arbeit
ausreicht, um in die (Kunst-)Geschichtsbücher einzugehen, oder ob es (nach wie vor) bewusster und konsequent verfolgter Strategien bedarf, um sich als Künstlerin einen „Platz am Tisch“ zu sichern – und was eine nicht-patriarchale Kunsthistoriographie dafür leisten kann.

Lisa Ortner-Kreil ist Kunsthistorikerin und Literaturwissenschaftlerin und seit 2013 Kuratorin am Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien. Zuvor war sie Mitarbeiterin an Albertina Wien und am Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Brüssel. Ortner-Kreil hat international beachtete Ausstellungen kuratiert, unter anderem Kiki Kogelnik: Now Is the Time, 2023/24, Gerhard Richter: Landschaft, 2020/2021, Man Ray, 2018 und Martin Kippenberger: XYZ, 2016. Sie ist Herausgeberin zahlreicher Publikationen zu moderner und zeitgenössischer Kunst, Mitglied mehrerer Kunst-Jurys und Lehrbeauftragte an der Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien 2020 hat sie, gemeinsam mit Barbara Horvath, die Gegenwartskunstiniative art hoc projects gegründet, die es sich zum Ziel gesetzt hat, internationale Gegenwartskunst an atypische Orte zu bringen, um so neue Räume und ein neues Publikum für die Kunst zu erschließen. Ihre Forschungsschwerpunkte konzentrieren sich auf transmediales Arbeiten in der Gegenwartskunst, historische und zeitgenössische Fotografie und Popkultur.

Video 7: DIG DEEP: Between Material and Performance. Roundtable Discussion

Barbora Kundračíková (Olomouc Museum of Art – Central European Forum)
DIG DEEP: Between Material and Performance. Roundtable Discussion with the artists Alicja Bielawska, Sári Ember, Habima Fuchs, and Monika Pascoe Mikyšková

This roundtable discussion prepared under the auspices of the Olomouc Museum of Art – Central European Forum presents the research project led between 2022 and 2023. It focuses on the formation of local – Central European – cultural and social memory and uses artistic research as an initial strategy. Selected artists – Alicja Bielawska (PL), Sári Ember (HU), Habima Fuchs (CZ), Monika Pascoe Mikyšková (SK), and Zoya Laktionova (UA) – share the interest in the concept of “introspection” – a deep exploration of various aspects of human consciousness in the sense of “world-making”, including memory, imagination, perception of space, and one’s own body. Although initially a personal one, this exploration ultimately proves to be an expression of a collective experience that pushes the limits of sharing and communication even beyond the human domain. Artists test, articulate, and present different perspectives on the issue of the disparity between personal and collective history turning to what they know best – the nature of the material, the structure of the physical world, and aspects of ritual practices. The project recognizes and highlights the importance of local creative traditions. Although it does not aim to present any “feminine” aesthetic, given the subject matter, it quite naturally articulates this issue as well. In doing so, it uses the concept of “materiality” or “performativity”. The resulting formation, at the center of which is a seemingly peripheral physical or metaphysical element, becomes a complex and ever-changing network of actors and their relationships.

Barbora Kundračíková is head of modern art collections in the Olomouc Museum of Art – Central European Forum (SEFO) and an assistant professor at the Department of Art History at Palacký University in Olomouc. Her areas of interest include 20th and 21st-century European visual art, technical representations, art history methodology, and analytical approaches to aesthetics. Alicja Bielawska (1980, PL) works with sculpture and drawing. Her works focus on the material sphere of everyday life and the relationship between objects, interiors, and memories. She brings elements of choreography and performance into her work. Sárí Ember (1985, HU) focuses in her artistic practice on questions related to the nature of representation, working primarily with the medium of installation. Through the symbolic values of noble materials and an archetypal, semi-abstract motif set, she seeks to explore shared experiences. Habima Fuchs (1977, CZ) has long been revising the established mechanisms and traditional existential, philosophical, or metaphysical turns we rely on to understand the world we live in. The symbols and motifs she reflects and materializes in this process come from different cultures and periods, from the framework of Christian iconography and oriental religious contexts. Monika Pascoe Mikyšková (1983, SK) works with monumental watercolor painting and plant and “mineral” objects. Her installations are reminiscent of herbarium prints, moldings and casts combined with live houseplants. Questions of human physicality and emotional experience collide with the inhuman temporality of plants – captured and displayed, included in
botanical collections, and artificially petrified through decorative intervention.

Weitere Informationen: MAK – Museum für angewandte Kunst, Wien

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