Cloth $35.00 ISBN: 9780226674698 Published October 2019 For Sale in USA and Canada Only

Hannah Ryggen

Threads of Defiance

Marit Paasche

Hannah Ryggen

Marit Paasche

288 pages | 150 color plates | 6 1/2 x 9 1/2 | © 2019
Cloth $35.00 ISBN: 9780226674698 Published October 2019 For Sale in USA and Canada Only
Hannah Ryggen (1894–1970) was a Swedish-Norwegian modern artist who began her career as a painter before switching to creating political art in the form of monumental tapestries. Combining the decorative and the political, Ryggen was ahead of her time with her turn to “political weaving.” She was also a feminist with strong communist sympathies involved in the international workers’ movement. Her dramatic, beautiful tapestries were shown at both the Paris and Brussels World’s Fairs, but she was largely forgotten by the international art world in the decades after her death. In recent years, however, as interest in both fiber arts and pioneering women artists has grown, Ryggen’s work has returned to the public eye, with major international exhibitions and fresh attention from curators, collectors, and critics.

A widely recognized authority on Ryggen, Marit Paasche brings this important Scandinavian artist to the foreground in this biography, the first published on Ryggen in English. Paasche looks at Ryggen within the social, political, and cultural contexts of her time and explores how these issues informed her work, from her anti-fascist tapestry that depicted a spear piercing Mussolini’s head to one protesting the war in Vietnam. Published to correspond with a major retrospective in Frankfurt, of which Paasche is one of the curators, Hannah Ryggen is a foundational book that will provide a crucial introduction of this artist to a broader audience.
 
Contents
Preface
1 The Use of Hands
2 Liberation
3 Ørlandet’s Black Hannah
4 Denunciations
5 Confidences
6 Hardship and Breakthrough
7 Handicraft and Fine Art
8 Picasso and Philomela’s Tongue
9 Weaver’s Revolt
10 Perpetual Motion
11 Shirt of Flame
12 We Are Living on a Star
 
Afterlife
List of Works
Notes
Bibliography and Sources
Acknowledgments
Illustration Credits
Index
Review Quotes
CHOICE
"The biography extends previous scholarship with narratives around individual tapestries, personal letters and photos, interviews, and newspaper articles. Examination of the artist’s life and times is critical to this book because Ryggen’s weaving is so much an expression of her personal experiences. Ryggen’s deep connection to her family’s Norwegian farm, its animals, and the natural environment guided her art’s subjects and weaving materials of linen and naturally dyed wool. During the turbulent times of the early 20th century, Ryggen remained constant in her belief in art’s social function to reveal the consequences of politics. Because many issues that concerned Ryggen during her lifetime have returned to the international political stage, this is a timely biography of a woman who is once again regarded as a major artist. This is an excellent book for those interested in how artists' lives and times influence their art choices and for young artists interrogating art as social commentary. . . . Summing Up: Essential. All readers."
Frances Morris, Director, Tate Modern
“A fascinating book . . . such a remarkable life and astonishing work, and so relevant in relation to growing recent interest in artists who work with fabric and textiles.”
Marina Warner, Birkbeck College, University of London
“Hannah Ryggen . . . is indeed a remarkable artist and her work is of increasing interest.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://press.uchicago.edu
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