Vienna 1900. Birthplace of the Gesamtkunstwerk
With the Vienna Secession and Wiener Werkstätte, Vienna around 1900 was one of the cradles of modern art. Ideas and influences were exchanged between artists, artisans and architects, in a process of cross-fertilization that defied the traditional divide between art and craft. In a wealth of examples, the catalogue shows how Viennese Modernism embraced the concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk, the integral work of art.
This opulent catalogue brings together renowned ornamental portraits and landscapes by Gustav Klimt, erotic drawings by Egon Schiele, and works by a host of other artists, architects, furniture designers, and artisans of the Vienna Secession and Wiener Werkstätte. Adolf Loos, Otto Wagner, Koloman Moser, Joseph Maria Olbrich, and Josef Hoffmann are among the most important representatives of this period. The catalogue also features early works by Oskar Kokoschka, oils by Richard Gerstl, and a few paintings by Arnold Schoenberg.
Clear aesthetic relationships between the ornamental approach of the paintings and the objects and designs of the Wiener Werkstätte become apparent. Essays by exhibition curator Barbara Steffen, Christian Meyer, Franz Smola and others, and an annotated chronology of the years from 1890 to 1918, make this superb volume a true treasure trove of information for anyone who is interested in this turning-point in the history of art.