Black Matter
by Anja Vang Kragh

Black Matter

Textile sculpture featuring techniques from both couture and costume design, including hand-made pleats, ruffles and gathering techniques. A diverse range of exterior materials with added human hair and tar or lacquer finish in places. The interior wooden frame is constructed of wooden plates wedged into one another. The textiles are mounted on the frame with tie-strings or zips.

Black Matter tests just how far an abstraction on the human form can go in merely suggesting the proportions of the human body while still remaining recognizable as essential human. With this, Anja Vang Kragh aimed for a black, sculptural collage of tactile experiences where the textural qualities take centre stage. The sculpture appears as a black volume clad in an abstract textile garment that is not suited for an actual human body. In creating the sculpture, Kragh drew on inspiration from multiple sources, including the simplicity and bold lines of constructivist 20th-century sculptures, the potent primordial power and tactile expression of primitive ritual masks and costumes and the elegance of couture design.

Interior wooden frame clad in paper silk, nylon, velvet, webbing, wool, human hair, tar, lacquer

Approx. H 200 x W 200 x D 100 cm

Anja Vang Kragh
Clothing and costume designer, b. 1970

Anja Vang Kragh’s works are characterized by a theatrical expression with a strong emphasis on expressive forms and fabrics, created in the full range of materials that can be used for clothing. This includes classical textiles such as silk, cotton, wool and nylon, as well as highly unconventional materials, such as human hair, floor varnish, cardboard, plastic, iron and paint. She generally aims for a complex expression that combines several contrasting expressions and styles. In bringing together these diverse materials and expressions she places a high emphasis on traditional tailoring and draping methods. An important source of inspiration in Kragh’s work is the forms, colours and textures found in nature as well as art and ethnic garb.

Education and practice
2005–: freelance costume designer for theatre and opera productions
2005–06: fashion designer at Stella McCartney, London
1999–05: fashion designer at John Galliano/Christian Dior, Paris
1997: MA, fashion design, The Danish Design School, (now Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design)

Selected projects
2017: costume designs for ‘Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg’, Royal Opera House, London
2015: costume designs for ‘Idomeneo’ ,Wiener Staatsoper, Vienna
2014: costume designs for ‘Don Giovanni’, Royal Opera House, London
2011: designed the ‘Flora’ service for Royal Copenhagen
2008: costume design for ‘Come Together’ theatre concert, Østre Gasværk Teater, Copenhagen

Selected grants and honours
2008: nominated for a Reumert award for costume designs for ‘Tartuffe’ at the Royal Danish Theatre
2007: nominated for a Reumert award for costume designs for ‘Gasolin’’ at Østre Gasværk Teater and ‘Bunbury’ at the Royal Danish Theatre
1999: Det Blå Fingerbøl, fashion designer of the year
1997: Smirnoff International Fashion Awards, first prize in the Danish section

Selected exhibitions
2015–16: exhibition of costumes from ‘Don Giovanni’, Royal Opera House, London
2005: solo exhibition of costumes from ‘Verdenshistorien’ at Østre Gasværk Teater, Øksnehallen, Copenhagen
1999: exhibition of clothing, House of Denmark, Paris
1998: solo exhibition of drawings and clothing, Øksnehallen, Copenhagen

Anja Vang Kragh


More from this exhibition

Black Matter<br>by Anja Vang Kragh
Half Pieces<br>by Carl Emil Jacobsen
Sun Disc <br>by Cecilie Bendixen
All is Flux<br>by Gitte Jungersen
Aurora Borealis<br>by Iben Høj
Dissolved into the fabric<br>by Isabel Berglund
A Family<br>by Kasper Kjeldgaard
Knock them down with a feather <br>by Katrine Borup
Billy <br>by Kevin Hviid
Field of flowers (long winter poem) <br>by Louise Campbell
Follow Me <br>by Maria Koshenkova
Carbon Black <br>by Petra Dalström
LMA (Lick My Ass) – a chair<br>by Pettersen & Hein
SAKYU<br>by Rasmus Fenhann
Botanical Furniture Species<br>by Wednesday Architecture