Adriana Czernins has lived and worked in Vienna, the capital of fin de siècle and opulent Art Nouveau ornamentation, for decades. Thus, Czernin’s early works of nude female bodies, floral patterns, and intricate ornamentation are akin to journeys into the depths of Austrian modernism. However, Czernin has long since reduced and geometrized her formal language. In the process, she drew inspiration for an entire series from a work in Vienna’s Museum of Applied Arts: a tableau of wooden ornaments from the pulpit of Cairo’s Ibn Tulun Mosque from 1296. Whereas previously the female body was enmeshed in ornament, in Czernin’s work the ornament is a metaphor for social and personal entanglements. The artist breaks with the strict symmetry of the over 700-year-old work. She removed ornamental elements, creating a dynamic composition of seemingly free forms that spread out across the pictorial space. Friedhelm Hütte, the curator of the exhibition, talks with Adriana Czernin about patterns and ornaments, composition and formal language, and much more.
This event will take place online. If you are interested, you can register for the Zoom Webinar here. If you do not wish to participate in the discussion directly, you can watch the event live on the website or Facebook, or view it at a later time.