World premiere of CON-TEXTURES sculpture at the ADD-ITC - art meets science

Unveiling of the CON-TEXTURES sculpture at the ADD-ITC Copyright: © ITA

Unveiling of the CON-TEXTURES sculpture at the ADD-ITC (from left to right: Professor Dr Thomas Gries, ITA, artist Thomas Schönauer), source: ITA


The world's first large-format carbon concrete sculpture CON-TEXTURES was unveiled at one of the most important European textile conferences, the Aachen-Dresden-Denkendorf International Textile Conference, short ADD-ITC, on 30 November 2018. The sculpture consists of two textile concrete shells with a height of 2.4 metres and a wall thickness of 20 millimetres. It is reinforced with a carbon reinforcement and was created in exclusive collaboration with the artist Thomas Schönauer from Düsseldorf, Germany.

In the CON-TEXTURES sculpture project, the latest research results in the field of carbon concrete by Professor Dr Thomas Gries, Institut für Textiltechnik of RWTH Aachen University, short ITA, meet the innovative drive of the visual artist Thomas Schönauer.

Schönauer created freely curved sculptures made of concrete, which are 20 millimetres thick at a height of up to five metres. They correspond as filigree surfaces in space with landscape, wind, waves, deciduous falls, rain, and so on. One of the sculptures was unveiled on a scale of 1:2 at the ADD-ITC.

The sculptures have the clear material character of concrete, one of the most basic materials in today's functional landscape design. Thanks to the technical innovation of fibre-reinforced concrete, the shape of the sculptures can be completely different from that of concrete. The artist Thomas Schönauer was particularly interested in the filigree possibilities of the material textile concrete, the limits of which he was able to approach with the only 20 millimetres thin sculpture wall. From the artist's point of view, the ITA offered itself as an ideal partner through its many years of textile concrete history: Working with textile-reinforced concrete is one of the institute's most important areas of research.

Art and science have always been regarded as opposing, almost complementary disciplines. The CON-TEXTURES project will of course pursue the opposite strategy. It is not without reasons that great scientists and philosophers talk about the unity of beauty, truth and goodness.

The target group for CON-TEXTURES is anyone with an affinity for art. The sculpture is offered in three different sizes. It is now available on the market and will be marketed by the Düsseldorf gallery Engelage & Lieder. The largest sculpture, over five metres high, is to be placed in public space. Partners are still being sought - please contact if you are interested in.