Soft? Tactile Dialogues

Soft? Tactile Dialogues Image courtesy of Momu Antwerp

Soft? Tactile Dialogues
September 28, 2018 – February 24, 2019

Momu Antwerp Museum

Soft? Tactile Dialogues” is about the freedom with which artists move between various media, about unexpected textile applications, about tactility and aversion, and about the textures and the skin of sculptures. This exhibition will mark the first time that MoMu takes its focus away from fashion. It will present work from its own collection by Belgian textile artists from the 1970s and ’80s in an inspiring dialogue with contemporary artists who express themselves freely in textiles. The Maurice Verbaet Center’s 1960s architecture and its monumental stairwell form an impressive backdrop for the exhibition.

                           

 Soft? Tactile Dialogues Image courtesy of Momu Antwerp

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In the 1960s and ’70s, many feminist, post-minimalist and fibre artists found their way to textiles. They were attracted to the aesthetic possibilities, structural potential, and semiotic power of this ‘soft’ material.

The intuitive or militant use of textiles – a material traditionally associated with commerce and industry – put pressure on the stark distinction between fine arts and applied arts. It was precisely because of the sexist association of textiles with ‘women’s work’ or ‘decoration’, that feminist artists used it to denounce the balance of power within the art world.

                            

 Soft? Tactile Dialogues Image courtesy of Momu Antwerp

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Belgian artists such as Veerle Dupont, Suzannah Olieux, Hetty Van Boekhout, Liberta Ferket and Edith Van Driessche also expressed themselves in textiles during this era. Their oeuvres form an exceptional component of MoMus collection. Also shown in the exhibition is the work of the better known Belgian-Polish artist Tapta, whose work is part of the collection of Verbaet, a private collection of Belgian modern art produced after the war.

Although these artists often worked at the margins of the art world, their continual efforts were crucial for textiles to become an accepted medium in contemporary art.

                             

 Soft? Tactile Dialogues Image courtesy of Momu Antwerp

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In “Soft?, MoMu will present work by this first generation for the first time in dialogue with contemporary artists such as Kati Heck, Nel Aerts, Anton Cotteleer, Sven ‘t Jolle, Klaas Rommelaere, Christoph Hefti, Stéphanie Baechler, Ermias Kifleyesus, Gommaar Gilliams, Wiesi Will and Kirstin Arndt. This younger generation expresses themselves unapologetically and freely in textiles, often combined with other media.

                          

 Soft? Tactile Dialogues Image courtesy of Momu Antwerp

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This sense of freedom is owed to the battle fought by that first generation, as well the changing perception of art criticism where the quality of an artwork has little to do with style or medium, but all to do with artistic intention.

more. www.momu.be

Soft? Tactile Dialogues Image courtesy of Momu Antwerp

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