(Pirnitz 1870 - 1956 Vienna)
Draft for a flacon, 1934
pencil and watercolor/paper, 29.7 x 20.4 cm
monogrammed JH, dated 34, Stamp Commercial Promotion Institute
exhibited in Josef Hoffmann 1870-1956. Progress by beauty, Mak, Vienna 2021-2022.
provenance: Carla Hoffmann, private collection Vienna
ESTIMATE #Euro 700 - 1.500
STARTING PRICE #Euro 700
Josef Hoffmann, a student of Carl Hasenauer and Otto Wagner, was one of the central figures of Viennese Modernism as an architect and designer. In 1903, together with Koloman Moser and the industrialist Fritz Waerndorfer, he founded the Wiener Werkstaette (WW), modeled on the British Arts and Crafts Movement and influenced by Viennese Art Nouveau. Hoffmann, a friend of Gustav Klimt and Anton Hanak, among others, remained one of the most important designers of the WW until its bankruptcy in 1932. The Wiener Werkstaette, also referred to as Wiener Werkstatt, Vienna Workshop, Wiener Werkstaetten or Wiener Werkstaetten, aimed to unite the entire spheres of human life in design, in the sense of a Gesamtkunstwerk. Josef Hoffmann's acquaintance with Berta Zuckerkandl led to the first major commission: the Purkersdorf Sanatorium, planned by Viktor Zuckerkandl, Berta's brother-in-law, west of Vienna. Among the WW staff were about a dozen women who were crucial to the change in style from Art Nouveau to Art Deco in the 1920s, such as Vally Wieselthier, Gudrun Baudisch, Reni Schaschl, Hilda Jesser, and Susi Singer. Together with Stefan Rath, the head of the glass manufacturer Lobmeyr, Josef Hoffmann founded the oesterreichischer Werkbund (oeWB) in 1912. Hoffmann designed numerous glasses and chandeliers for Lobmeyr during this period, some of which are still produced by Lobmeyr today. Josef Hoffmann survived the Nazi period unscathed despite hostility from the Nazi architectural ideologist Paul Schmitthenner. He was commissioned by the Reich Chamber of Fine Arts to further develop the Vienna Arts and Crafts Association (a Nazi successor organization to the Austrian Werkbund) as its artistic director. To this end, an "artistic experimental institute" was founded in 1941, where young artisans could further their education under Hoffmann's guidance. After the war, in 1948, Hoffmann founded the oesterreichische Werkstaetten as the successor to the Wiener Werkstaette und Werkbund (oeWB) and again designed for Lobmeyr. Whether the present design was executed for Lobmeyr is not certain. Hoffmann's gravestone was designed by Fritz Wotruba.
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