JUSTAUCORPS by Nicole Miltner

JUSTAUCORPS by Nicole Miltner


wool-cotton weave, 215,5x80 cm, 2004-2005

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. 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.


Nicole Miltner (Kenya 1977; 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 objects. Her artistic research, although strongly linked to the practice of tapestry, has taken other directions for some years, in the fields of performance, sculpture and installation arts, developing a reflection on the body and how it is represented. Her recent exhibitions include: Revers the Trompe, Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, AT, 2015; S/HE IS THE ONE, Kunstraum Niederösterreich, Vienna, AT, 2013; Schwuere Tauschen, with Birgit Knoechi, Galerie Altnöder, Salisburgo, AT, 2012; Customized Body (personal), Start Gallery MUSA, Vienna, AT, 2011.

** iron table is part of the artwork


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