Ornament Und Verbrechen


solo exhibition at Palais Aktuelle Kunst, Glückstadt (DE), curated by Christiane Opitz and Kerstin Niemann, 2010

Exhibition view with mural of textballoons quoting from Ornament und Verbrechen, 2010
murals, work on paper and painting

Exhibition view with mural of textballoons and existing historic ornamental mural, 2010
murals, work on paper and painting

Schlangen und Schallplatten, 2010
90 x 250cm
acrylic and ink on canvas

Walldrawing with canvas

Double Blossom, 2010

50 x 40cm
acrylic on canvas


The title of Hadassah Emmerich’s solo exhibition at Palais für Aktuelle Kunst ‘Ornament und Verbrechen’ is the same title as a newly painted mural in the show.

It refers to the known polemic pamphlet of the Austrian architect Adolf Loos from the year 1908. In his pamphlet, Loos degrades the decoration from everyday objects through ornaments as pointless waste of human energy. He demanded that the production of everyday appliances as well as architecture, should not be connected to the ethos of artistic practice. Emmerich took citations from Loos’ polemic work and applied them onto a large wall at the Palais aktuelle Kunst.

  1. “What struck me most about Loos’ 1908 ‘Streitschrift’ Ornament und Verbrechen, was the rather arrogant and condescending tone of voice. Because ornament had played such an important role in my work so far, and because at Palais Aktuelle Kunst I encountered existing ornamental wallpaintings, I decided to use quotes from Loos’ text in a ‘comic strip’ way; as handwritten text in textballoons. For this textballoon wallpainting I adopted the same colour-palette as the historical wallpainting on the other side of the room so that optically the two wallpaintings harmonized, and by doing so turning Loos’ text into ornament again.”

Invitation poster

Exhibition leaflet (PDF)