10 October 2017 – 18 February 2018

From the collection: Ferdinand Nigg. For the raindrop, falling into the ocean

Ferdinand Nigg, Jagd I, undated
In a little hand-written book, Ferdinand Nigg (1865–1949) wrote down the question "What is bliss?". His answer reads "For the raindrop, falling into the ocean".

Ich möchte wissen (I would like to know) was the title that Nigg gave to that book in which he wrote down numerous questions and answers in capital letters in the style of haikus. "What is truth?", "What is happiness?" or "What is art?".

Cross-stitch by cross-stitch joins together in Nigg's embroidery to form the continuous and, at the same time, dynamic basic structure of his compositions. The stitches combine to create ornamental repeats and figures, forming a two-dimensional and equally three-dimensional aspect that oscillates between abstraction and figuration. The mutually contingent opposite pairs of his embroideries emphasise an inherent moment of motion – an eternal cycle – like the raindrop in the ocean.

Nigg was a painter, graphic artist, textile designer, book designer and typographer. Alongside teaching in Magdeburg and later Cologne, he also created an extensive oeuvre of drawings and embroidery, mostly undated and out of the public eye. After retiring in 1931, he returned to Liechtenstein, where he created his late work.