University Gallery, Heiligenkreuzerhof
Entrance : Schönlaterngasse 5 or Grashofgasse 3, 1010 Vienna
Stairway 8, 1st Floor
Oktober 10, 2023, 6 pm
- Director Collection and Archive
- Curatorial Team
Stefanie Kitzberger and Robert Müller in cooperation with Alexandra Barcal (Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich)
- Exhibition Management
Judith Burger, Laura Egger-Karlegger
- Exhibition design
- Research and booklet
Laura Egger-Karlegger, Stefanie Kitzberger, Eva Marie Klimpel, Ursula Prokorny, Robert Müller
- Exhibition office University Gallery
Lill Tschudi – Franz Čižek. A delightful sort of game explores relationships between artistic practice and teaching in the 20th century by bringing two figures in dialogue. The pivot of the exhibition is the graphical work of Swiss artist Lill Tschudi (1911–2004), which is shown for the first time in Austria as part of a cooperation between the Angewandte and the Graphische Sammlung ETH Zurich. This monographic perspective is furthermore expanded by exploring the relationship of Tschudi’s works to selected holdings from the collection of the University of Applied Arts Vienna that document the reform pedagogy of artist Franz Čižek (1865–1946).
The exhibition looks at Tschudi and Čižek as exemplary artistic positions in interwar and postwar Europe, in whose work aspects of applied and fine art as well as abstraction and figuration interrelate. Both Tschudi’s artistic works and Čižek’s pedagogy are linked to the development of modern chromatic printing as well as to reform tendencies in society and pedagogy and the discovery of “children's art” around 1900. Lill Tschudi studied linocut at London’s Grosvenor School of Modern Art in 1929 with the British artist Claude Flight (1881–1955). Flight integrated Čižek’s approaches into his own teaching after a personal encounter with him. In the introduction to his 1934 book, The Art and Craft of Lino Cutting and Printing, which he illustrated with linocuts of children and works by his students alike, he quotes Čižek’s approach as a (new) model for artistic expression and “emotional organization” that is credited to the artistic activities of children. Čižek’s attitude and working methods in his youth art class [Jugendkunstklasse], which incorporated into the Vienna School of Applied Arts [Kunstgewerbeschule] between 1903 and 1906, gained early renown, especially in the Anglo-American world. Works by his students were shown worldwide in numerous exhibitions. The class aimed at enabling children and young people to develop their own creativity in a wide variety of techniques and materials, as well as in joint discussions.
Lill Tschudi – Franz Čižek. A delightful sort of game explores the new status of children’s artistic work as a practice in its own right worthy of being exhibited. It looks at the functions of simple techniques such as linocut, as they were established and used in Čižek’s and Flight’s teaching and in Tschudi’s artistic practice, in relationship to social transformations and artistic innovations. The exhibition traces the role of published prints for Tschudi’s development – for example, those by Norbertine Bresslern-Roth (1891–1978), whose depictions of animals she presumably became acquainted with through an exhibition at the Antwerp Zoological Gardens and later through journal The Studio – and the relationship of Čižek’s work to Viennese (social-democratic) educational reform. It follows possible “stylistic contagions” (Barbara Wittmann), affinities and translations that were owed to the institutional environment of the youth art class. Čižek’s interest in “folk art” and the prints of the Wiener Werkstätte, for example, overlapped with his eclectic engagement with contemporary avant-garde movements such as Futurism or Cubism, through which students in his courses for “Ornamental Morphology” approached problems of movement, space, and temporality. In this regard, the exhibition also looks at the role of British Vorticism for the Grosvenor School for the work of Lill Tschudi's oeuvre, which includes about 450 linocuts that often show dynamic depictions of metropolitan everyday scenes, sports and military subjects
Lill Tschudi – Franz Čižek. A delightful sort of game aims at making legible such personal, historical, and formal references between Lill Tschudi’s and Franz Čižek’s practices by means of playful layerings and cross-sections as well as through questioning the relationship of both œuvres to international formations and issues of modernity.
The exhibition relates to the show Lill Tschudi. The Excitement of the Linocut 1930–1950, which was on view at the Graphische Sammlung ETH Zurich in 2021–22.