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Collection Art, Architecture, Design Exhibition

Friedl Dicker-Brandeis.
Workshops for Visual Arts

Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, Franz Singer, Hans Weller, Entwurf, Fußboden, Farbstudie, Architektur, Wohnung
IN 9394/5

Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, Franz Singer, Design for Apartment of Hans Heller: Color Study for the Floor in the Foyer, ca. 1927

© Collection and Archive

Info

Location

University Gallery at Heiligenkreuzerhof
University of Applied Arts Vienna Schönlaterngasse 5, Stairway 8, 1. Floor, 1010 Vienna

Opening hours

Wednesday–Saturday, 2–6 pm

Curatorial team

Cosima Rainer, Robert Müller, Stefanie Kitzberger

Exhibition design

Robert Müller

Exhibition organization

Laura Egger-Karlegger, Judith Burger, Eva Klimpel

The artistic work of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis (1898-1944) is marked by production across media, ranging from graphics and paintings to designs for costumes and stage sets, toys, interiors and modular furniture, through fabrics, bags, and book covers to politically engaged art. Throughout her short career she also worked as an art teacher – a practice she pursued even after she was deported to the concentration camp Terezín and up until her murder at Auschwitz in 1944. Dicker’s oeuvre emerges from her on-going professional engagement with a variety of environments and collaborations. Its complexity distinguishes her as an outstanding artist; however, she also belongs to a generation of women artists still only present at the margins of the received history of European Modernism.

There are various reasons for Dicker’s neglect and the prevailing reading of Dicker as merely the partner of the architect Franz Singer. Her gender, class, and ethnic identity have played just as large a role in this process of marginalization as has the material destruction of central parts of her rich architectural oeuvre – a destruction itself contingent upon her oppression as a socialist and her persecution as a Jew under the rise of fascism and the National Socialist regime. Still today, the engagement with her oeuvre requires to be continued.

The tendency of 20th-century art history to uphold a separation of genres and of media as well as the segregation of the visual and the applied arts have certainly complicated attempts to classify and interpret Dicker's interdisciplinary oeuvre. The transgression of established categories is already reflected in the artist’s early work. In naming their first company “Werkstätten bildender Kunst GmbH” (Workshops for Visual Arts), Dicker and Singer articulated an understanding of their cross-genre multimedia artistic production as visual arts and material labor for social life as a whole. The exhibition takes up this observation. Based on works from the collection of the University of Applied Arts Vienna, the show explores the material, formal and thematic versatility of Dicker’s artistic production and thereby aims to deepen and differentiate the perspectives on the artist’s oeuvre. It not only addresses the artist’s diverse working methods and their political contexts but also makes visible the intellectual and artistic milieus with which she was associated. To this end, the exhibition sheds light on her multifaceted education at institutions such as the Wiener Graphische Versuchs- und Lehranstalt, the Wiener Kunstgewerbeschule, and the Weimar Bauhaus. It reconstructs her diverse personal networks reaching far beyond the art field, and traces her own engagement with contemporary developments in art and theory. Friedl Dicker-Brandeis thus becomes visible as a figure who, despite her precarious living and production conditions as a jewish, socialist woman from the lower middle class, elaborated versatile, unusual and resistive art works for many different communities and contexts.

The exhibition furthermore explores a collection that includes works from all important phases of the artist’s work. It is closely connected to the engagement of Oswald Oberhuber, who as an artist, curator and rector of the University of Applied Arts Vienna was committed to the re-establishment of avant-garde artists and figures of the Austrian cultural landscape who had been murdered, displaced and marginalized by fascism. He presented the artist for the first time in his exhibition Österreichs Avantgarde 1900 - 1938. Ein unbekannter Aspekt (Austrian Avant-garde 1900 - 1938. An unfamiliar aspect) at Galerie nächst St Stephan in 1976 as well as in the show Die Vertreibung des Geistigen aus Österreich. Zur Kulturpolitik des Nationalsozialismus in 1985. Georg Schrom and Stefanie Trauttmansdorff continued his engagement with their exhibition 2 x Bauhaus in Wien. Franz Singer, Friedl Dicker (2 x Bauhaus in Vienna. Franz Singer, Friedl Dicker) at the former School of Applied Arts Vienna in 1988/89.

Friedl Dicker-Brandeis. Workshops for Visual Arts is related to a two-year research project whose results will be published in English and German with de Gruyter in 2022. The monograph Friedl Dicker-Brandeis. Works from the Collection of the University of Applied Arts Vienna, edited by Stefanie Kitzberger, Cosima Rainer and Linda Schädler will be presented as part of the Vienna Art Week on November 22, 2022 and can be ordered here, via our e-mail address and at book shops and online worldwide.

In spring 2023, the exhibition will be shown at Graphische Sammlung ETH Zurich.

Bilder

IN 8699

Still Life with Coil, ca 1920

© Collection and Archive, University of Applied Arts, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com

In 12.192

Study of "Anna Selbdritt", 1920–1921

© Collection and Archive, University of Applied Arts, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com

IN 12.213

"Man in Room", ca. 1920

© Collection and Archive, University of Applied Arts, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com

IN 9394/5

Design for the Apartment of Hans Heller, Karolinengasse, 4th district, 1927–1928

© Collection and Archive, University of Applied Arts, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com

IN 12.214/2

Cello and Cactus, ca. 1920

© Collection and Archive, University of Applied Arts, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com

Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, Textil, Handtasche
KM 3891

Handbag, 1924–1930

© Collection and Archive, University of Applied Arts, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com

In 12.245

Composition with Musical Instruments, 1925–1931

© Collection and Archive, University of Applied Arts, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com

Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, Collage
IN 12.252/FW/8

"Do Not Fear Death", 1932–1933

© Collection and Archive, University of Applied Arts, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com

Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, Fuchs lernt Spanisch, Malerei, Gemälde, Portrait
IN 14.108/B

"Fuchs Learns Spanish / A Friend Learns Spanish Vocabulary", 1938

© Collection and Archive, University of Applied Arts, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com

Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, Kunst, Abstraktion, Skulptur, Objekt
IN 14.109/B

"A Negative and a Positive Form of a Force Field", 1941

© Collection and Archive, University of Applied Arts, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com

IN 8703

"Interrogation" III, 1933–1934

© Collection and Archive, University of Applied Arts, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com

Bevorstehende Termine

Vergangene Termine