To mark the 150th birthday of Ferdinand Nigg, Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein staged a major synoptic exhibition devoted to Liechtenstein’s most important modernist artist.
Ferdinand Nigg is one of the artists who discovered embroidery (textiles) as an artistic medium at the beginning of the 20th century, harnessing this technique to realise modern design principles. The fascination of his work lies in his reduced, abstract vocabulary of form, with which Nigg also portrayed expressive gestures and facial expressions.
Ferdinand Nigg was a painter, graphic artist, textile designer, book designer and typographer. The exhibition and this accompanying catalogue show him not only as a professor and designer of embroidered Christian compositions, but above all as an independent artist. He also created an oeuvre of drawings and embroidery, mostly out of the public eye, alongside working as a teacher.
This work is pervaded by a profound knowledge of embroidery and influenced by early abstraction. Building on cross-stitch as a basic minimalist structure, Nigg arrived at an extraordinary interplay of figuration and abstraction that he increasingly expressed in biblical motifs.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition Ferdinand Nigg (1865-1949): Gestickte Moderne (Embroidered Modernism) at Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, 11 September 2015 – 24 January 2016.