Textile Arts

Textile Arts discipline within the Painting/Graphics ‘Diplom’ degree course

Teaching concept

The course of study in the Painting/ Textile Arts specialist class takes ten semesters. The foundation course focuses principally on training in individual design, craft and technical skills, the acquisition of theoretical knowledge, and thus also the search for and development of individual modes of expression and reflection on these. The specialist course of study offers space for comprehensive investigations, free individual work and experimentation in the studio and in workshops, and participation in large-scale art projects that are often related with architecture. Group projects and cooperation with other departments are encouraged and supported.

An important starting point for study in our specialist class is experimental consideration of textile techniques and materials, and thus also the investigation of the potentials and limits of textiles as a medium for the artistic implementation of ideas and concepts. One particular aspect of teaching and research here is the teaching of the technique of tapestry design, in association with consideration – in terms of both content and form – of historical tapestries as an independent art form in European cultural history. Acquiring the craft and technical knowledge and skills necessary to understand this very particular métier forms a part of subject-specific study of the fundamentals. Another essential aspect is the development of digitally controlled Jacquard weaving as a visual medium. On the one hand, we investigate the potential of this technology for the development of artistic forms of expression. The investigation of the socio-cultural significance of technical images is a basic element in the process of generating textile imagery. On the other hand, our research also focuses on the topic of textile space, experimental searching for and development of new design principles from this technology, and thus also the search for new materials for use in architecture. The starting point here is free experimentation. Functional, formal and aesthetic aspects are formulated in the course of the investigations carried out. Other associated techniques such as silkscreen printing, embroidery, knotting, tufting and paper-making can be learnt and practised in cooperation with the university’s own workshops and at the State Textile and Tapestry Factory.

For us, painting is an essential catalyst for the development of an individual artistic language in working with colour and space and for developing an assured approach to form. When artist and canvas are faced with one another, it is painting which allows elementary experience to come directly to the fore. With its spontaneous, intuitive and emotional possibilities, painting opens up a productive and creative field of tension with textile and building-related techniques which – in contrast with painting – involve comprehensive planning work; in this way, painting acts as a counterbalance to these. Painting on mobile backgrounds occupies a transforming position located between textile walls, tapestry, wallpaper and mural painting. We interpret the discipline of painting based on its historical roots – painting on sheets, generally on a large canvas, with weak paints, produced on the floor, which did not have supporting frames because of their large sizes. These works were often supposed to replace expensive tapestries. They have resulted in attractive historical pieces, such as so-called “Lenten cloths” or late antiquity period painted drapes, which could equally be considered as textile arts or as paintings. These forms of painting are closely associated with cartoons – the templates that are essential in tapestry, stained glass or mosaic production – or with theatre backdrops, i.e. with space-related and space-defining disciplines. From this historical perspective, the divide between painting and tapestry becomes blurred in a pleasantly easy manner. Tapestry is experienced as a pictorial variant, and mural painting as painted wallpaper; the textile wall or, more simply, wall mural then become the focus of attention itself.

The acquisition of skills and theoretical knowledge for artistic consideration of architectural space and its effect on humans is an important aspect of the development of an artistic personality that analyses society and is active within that society. As part of projects funded by third parties in the context of public construction projects, students obtain insights into the creation of architectural space from planning right through to implementation and of the use of this space; this enables them to understand the opportunities for artistic influence. The issue here is what contribution the artist can make in the field of activity located between the poles of architecture, art, working life, leisure and the individual. In this examination of society, we are not only concerned with interventions, but above all with mutual cooperation between all disciplines and all participants.

Communication: Individual consultations represent the standard form of communication between students and teaching staff in this class. In addition, joint presentations, common subject evenings in the studio and, above all, working on joint projects have also proven themselves. Daily discussions in the studio can also help to clear up any open issues.


General qualification for university entrance, and artistic suitability. No specialist prior technical and craft skills are required. Exceptions: The general qualification for university entrance can be waived in cases of exceptional talent combined with professional experience.


‘Diplom’ degree in Fine Arts

Start of course

Winter semester, first-semester students: 2-6

Standard duration of course

Foundation course: 4 semesters
Main study period: 6 semesters including ‘Diplom’ thesis‘
Diplom’ thesis: Written thesis and practical work, ‘Diplom’ colloquium


There are no university fees

University and examination regulations

Link to relevant regulations (available only in German)

Postgraduate courses

Fine Art
‘Meisterschüler (Master Student)’ course of study