to celebrate the recently expanded collaboration with the zürich-based textile designer sonnhild kestler, maharam will present ein schönes ödes haus – a lovely bare house, a special offsite exhibition highlighting kestler’s distinct pattern language and reference materials during neocon 2019 in chicago.
created in close dialogue with kestler, the exhibition displays a selection of everyday cultural artifacts culled throughout her extensive travels that inform her unique pattern language including figurines, talismans, handmade shoes, textiles, military insignia, games, and masks. of personal significance to kestler, each object was carefully transported from her atelier in zürich to an industrial building in chicago’s historic fulton-randolph market district—a site with many parallels to her own workspace. the exhibition’s title was chosen by kestler, who noted an immediate affinity with the building’s raw interior by recalling a line from f. w. murnau’s 1922 film nosferatu, “ein schönes ödes haus,“ or “a lovely bare house.” according to kestler, this phrase speaks to the beauty she derives from the ordinary and imperfect.
maharam media worked in partnership with gensler to construct an exhibition structure that would minimally interfere with the building’s historic interior—the site of a wholesale produce business for much of the last century.
about sonnhild kestler
sonnhild kestler (b. 1963, germany) is a textile designer and hand-screen printer who graduated from zürich university of the arts and now lives and works in zürich, switzerland.
about nick ballón
nick ballón (b. 1976, united kingdom) is a documentary and portrait photographer based in london.