Frankfurt am Main: Heimtextil 2010, Museum für Moderne Kunst
January 17, 2010
On Thursday, January 14th, I boarded a bus along with three other girls from the Carpet and Gobelin Studio and made my way across the border into Germany for the Heimtextil 2010 tradeshow– an international trade fair for home and contract textiles. (I’ll add one of my maps to show our route as soon as my Photoshop is up and running again).
The fair was held in Messe Frankfurt, an enormous exhibition complex.
It was an incredible space–it felt like an airport, with moving walkways to help get you from one hall to the next in an efficient manner. The architecture of the center was very impressive. Here’s a picture of the ceiling in Hall 3, which I found online (since we weren’t allowed to take photos of anything at the fair).
Here are some pictures that I (secretly) managed to take from inside of Messe Frankfurt, looking out onto the city…
As a textile designer, I found the fair incredibly inspiring, but simultaneously overwhelming– there was so much to look at! There were literally THOUSANDS of fabrics, wallpaper designs, rugs, pillows, bedding collections, towels, linens, etc. on display! And after a 16-hour bus ride, it was sensory overload.
The exhibition center was huge and the halls were organized by merchandise. Each company exhibiting at the fair had its own display stand, and each had a different approach to attracting potential clients: free eco-friendly bags, catalogs, pens, etc. I was more partial to a beautifully designed display… but a free pen never hurts. My favorite stand by far was for Kaeppel, a German bedding design company (www.kaeppel.de). They had little vignettes of bedrooms displayed…vertically! So, there would be the bed (dressed in their gorgeous printed sheets) with a little nightstand next to it, on top of which would be a book, jewelry box with a pearl necklance pouring out, a pen, etc… somehow all attached to defy gravity! Very cool. I attended two of the many organized seminars as well. One was about the trends of 2010/2011, as seen in the merchandise from the exhibitors. The other was geared more towards the business-side of designing textiles.
In terms of trends, there’s a lot of nature-inspired design going on right now; they called it “Hyper Nature” and “Futur-Rustic” — lots of natural fibers, an emphasis on texture through fabric manipulation (pleating, folding, stitching, smocking, quilting, cut-work, etc.). It was sort of nature meets technology–albeit in an effortless symbiosis. Another trend is what they called “Temptation.” Rough luxe– rich textures–velvets, leathers; saturated colors: purples, chartreuse, golds; modernity meets tradition– ‘digital classics.’ There were also lots of animal prints done in a new way. The fourth trend was called “Intuition” and had a bit of an 80s feel, but 60s at the same time– bright primary colors, lots of geometry, laser-cutting. I immediately thought of the Color Chart exhibit at MoMa back in 2008: Ellsworth Kelly, Gerhardt Richter, Yves Klein, Jennifer Bartlett, François Morellet…(www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2008/colorchart/flashsite/index.html)
Anyway, the trade fair was amazing. I got a real boost of energy from it… textile design is definitely my passion in life… it’s proven over and over again. But all this talk of the trade fair. How could I visit Frankfurt am Main without seeing…. Frankfurt am Main, right? Exactly. That’s what I thought. They didn’t schedule any time for us to sight-see. So, I took it upon myself to coerce one of the girls to accompany me to the Modern Art Museum (MMK, Museum für Moderne Kunst, www.mmk-frankfurt.de). We bought a map, hopped on the U-Bahn, took a walk down Zeil Strasse– Frankfurt’s equivalent of Łódź’s Piotrkowska Street–and made it to the museum!
Emilia and I tried to get a picture of ourselves with the hole in the background… so close.
When we finally made it to the museum, I was totally awed by, once again… its architecture. It was designed by Hans Hollein, a Viennese architect. Frankfurters affectionately call it a “slice of cake” because of the building’s triangular shape. Here’s a bird’s-eye-view of the building.
Honestly, it looks much better inside than it does from the outside. There are a series of passageways connecting exhibition rooms to each other, with open areas that allow the viewer to look up, down, and across the entire museum, as well. It’s incredible.
What’s even better is the museum’s collection of art! We happened to visit when the current presentation of works from the MMK’s collection is focusing on American and European art of the 1960s and major examples of Pop Art and Minimalism. (LUCKY!) There’s also a comprehensive solo exhibition of works by American artist Sarah Morris. Here’s a wall painting she designed with the unique post-modern architecture of the museum in mind.
After we finished viewing the museum’s collection, we made our way back to Messe Frankfurt to pick up our bags from the coat check, and then met up with the rest of the group at the train station to go home! 16 hours later, we were back in Łódź!