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Textiles in Fine Art in Europe

Beatrijs Sterk, NL/DE

In 2018 a lot of exhibitions on the "grand old ladies" in textile art took place: Anni Albers with Touching Vision at the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Magdalena Abakanowicz with Metamorphism I and II in the Central Museum of Textiles, Sheila Hicks with “Life lines”, Olga de Amaral with "Light of Spirit" in Brussels, once more Anni Albers in Düsseldorf and at the Tate Modern.
In the year 2018 there were organised some well-known textile exhibitions, a.o. the 6th Riga Textile and Fibre Art Triennial "Identity", the Textile Art Biennial Contextile and the 5th Triennial of Textile Art in Bratislava. In all these exhibitions there also was

fine art using textiles on show. The Lodz Triennial of Tapestry 2019 is explicitly looking for fine art with textiles!
To my surprise I could not find recent fine art exhibitions including textiles like they took place in 2017. We will have to see what is on show at the next Venice Biennial.
Again I wonder if this is a good development for younger textile artists as they still are not shown in the important museums. Will the textile medium just be dissolved into "art"?

Beatrijs Sterk, born in Holland in 1944. Textile art education in Holland and Finland, publisher and editor of Textile Forum magazine from 1982 to 2014 (first in German and since 1994 also in English). Initiator and Secretary General of the European Textile Network (1991 -2015) bringing together professionals from the field of art/design/craft, cultural heritage and education from all over Europe and beyond. Organiser of 17 international textile conferences and juror at textile art competitions and exhibitions. Since 2013 publisher of Textile forum Blog (

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Textile Kultur Haslach
Stahlmühle 4, A-4170 Haslach

Austrian Commission for UNESCO/Österreichische UNESCO-Kommission
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