The significance of Hannah Ryggen (1894–1970) as one of the most important figures in the history of Scandinavian art has only recently been recognized internationally. Beloved and renowned for her original contributions to modernist tapestry, Ryggen made radical political statements against Fascism and Nazism before and during the Second World War. Using primary sources, Ryggen expert Marit Paasche brings us a much fuller knowledge of the artist, weaving her life and work into a story that illuminates not only the artist herself, but also 20th-century art history in general.
Hanna Ryggen – “Etiopia”, 1935, 380 x 160 cm tapestry, partly knotted wool and linnen photo Beatrijs Sterk, © Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum National Museum of decorative Arts.
Hannah Ryggen’s visually spellbinding tapestries, made on a homemade handloom in her small farm on the remote Norwegian coast, depict a wealth of subjects: Mussolini’s Abyssinian campaign, her husband’s internment in a Nazi camp in occupied Norway, the post-war growth of nuclear power, and media coverage of the Vietnam War. At once hard-hitting and humorous, her works combine personal candour, social and political engagement and visual majesty. Paasche explores both the artist’s bold subject matter and particular balance of abstraction and figuration within the context of her life and beliefs. Including a comprehensive selection of works, this book provides an enthralling account of a remarkable, and unjustly overlooked, artist.
Size:24.0 x 16.5 cm
Publication date:26 September 2019
Thames & Hudson Publisher
About the Author
Marit Paasche is an art historian and former head of research at the Norwegian Video Art Archive. She now works as an art critic, curator and writer.
Hannah Ryggen – “We Are Living On a Star”, 1958, tapestry made in commission for the Highrise building in Oslos government quarter, © Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum © Hannah Ryggen, Bildupphovsrätt 2015