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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Germanic Languages & Literatures

Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



This thesis aims to understand Wolf-Rehfeldt’s place in the unofficial art world of the GDR by examining her work in light of her status as a clerical worker with social rather than professional ties to the art world. She stands out within the East German Mail Art context, not just for her inventive use of a typewriter to create abstract figurations, but for the way she used it to interject considerations of gender and power into a network of artists overwhelmingly dominated by men with her open-ended Typewritings.”

Through historical research and close readings of her work, this study uncovers how Wolf-Rehfeldt's Typewritings indicate that Mail Art was a space to share stylistic experiments, and her sophisticated treatment of feminist and abstract themes. My research reveals that the record of who was involved in the GDR’s experimental art scene is incomplete, with still more to be found. A deeper look at Wolf-Rehfeldt’s background confirmed that she was more enmeshed in Mail Art than the historical record indicates, suggesting the need for further study on the influence and involvement of women in the movement.


First Advisor

Mariana Ivanova

Second Advisor

Sara Jackson