Justaucorps deeply investigates the relationship between tapestry and painting, as if the artist wanted to test how far tapestry could emulate painting, choosing the difficult test bed of rendering skin tones, that indefinable chromatic quality of the skin. The literal translation of the French term (in English jerkin) alludes to a connection to the body, which here refers to the skin, the flesh surface. The tapestry faithfully depicts the pattern of a man’s waistcoat from the seventeenth-eighteenth centuries, arranged on the fabric to avoid wastage, as a tailor would do. Every shape reproduces a part of the body corresponding to that precise portion of the garment, so that what should be underneath, covered by the vest, is on the surface.

justaucorps_04/04 -11/05 , wool-cotton weave, 215,5 x 80 cm, 2004-2005. Photo: Klemens Kohlweis

justaucorps_04/04 -11/05, wool-cotton weave, 215,5 x 80 cm, 2004-2005. Photo: Klemens Kohlweis

The yarn, physically impregnated with color, has a three-dimensionality. This is the characteristic that distinguishes tapestry from painting, giving it a dimension of depth that has nothing to do with the illusion of perspective. Even the horizontal exposition of the tapestry, spread on a flat surface as if on a mortuary slab, only serves to emphasize this sense of depth displayed on a surface, one with the materiality of the fabric.

In parallel with her practice of tapestry, Nicole Miltner chooses to investigate the body through other languages such as performance, sculpture and installation (working with thick ropes), but the elements of her syntax remain partly the same: woven elements, the reflection on the body and a trace of brutality still implicit in the presence of the rope, in the sense of physical force that it potentially carries within it.

justaucorps_04/04 -11/05 , cartoon with color fields, 215,5 x 80 cm, 2004-2005

justaucorps_04/04 -11/05, cartoon with color fields, 215,5 x 80 cm, 2004-2005


Quellenabschiedsskulptur,  rope, wood, metal, ⌀120 cm, 2012

Quellenabschiedsskulptur, rope, wood, metal, ⌀120 cm, 2012

Nicole Miltner (1977, Kenya; lives and works in Vienna) studied at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna (tapestry).

Freelance weaver, she works at the Weltmuseum (Museum of Anthropology) of Vienna as a conservation technician in the department dedicated to the preservation of textile products.

Her recent exhibitions include: Revers the Trompe, Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, Austria, 2015; S/HE IS THE ONE, Kunstraum Niederösterreich, Vienna, Austria, 2013; Schwuere Tauschen, with Birgit Knoechi, Galerie Altnöder, Salisburgo, Austria, 2012; Customized Body (personal), Start Gallery MUSA, Vienna, Austria, 2011.