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LIVE 24-SEVEN


A BUY E R’ S GUIDE JOSEF HOFFMANN –


PIONEER OF MODERNISM


Architect and designer Josef Hoffmann was a pioneer and standard bearer for design at the beginning of the 20th century. Though considered to be part of the Art Nouveau movement, his


esign aesthetic went far beyond the organic to incorporate a straighter, more linear geometry to this most dramatic design movement.


His elegant designs and architectural statements were considered both at the time and today as great works that influenced the next generation of designers in the late 1920s and 1930s.


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Will Farmer is our antiques & collectors expert, he is well known for his resident work on the Antiques Roadshow, he has also written for the popular ‘Miller’s Antique Guide’. Those in the know will have also come across him at ‘Fieldings Auctioneers’. We are delighted that Will writes for Live 24-Seven, he brings with him a wealth of knowledge and expertise.


Josef Hoffmann was born in Moravia in what is now the Czech Republic, then a part of the Astro-Hungarian Empire. After attending the State School for Arts and Crafts in Brunn he went on the study under Otto Wagner at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. After winning the Rome Prize and studying in Rome for a year, he returned to Vienna and worked in Wagner's studio from 1896. Hoffmann embraced the Germanic form of Art Nouveau called Jugendstil. He broke away from traditionalism in favour of a new brand of historicism based upon functionalism and practicality married to an elegant aesthetic.


As a design aesthetic, he embraced the fundamental strength found in geometry and began to develop a new visual language which incorporated the use of strict geometric shapes applied in an elegant manner that created simple, often repetitive patterns.


Hoffmann found similarly likeminded young designers and artists and together in 1897 they initially formed the Vienna Secessionists. His colleagues were a group of highly talented individuals, including Joseph Maria Olbrich, Kolomon Moser and Gustav Klimt. As a group, they rejected the prevailing conservatism that constricted the Viennese art world. They actively advocated for the inclusion of the New Art (Art Nouveau), as well as the work of foreign artists and designers to be shown in Vienna’s galleries. This led to Glasgow-based Charles Rennie Mackintosh exhibiting in Vienna, as well as to influence and in turn be influenced by the members of Vienna Secession group. Eventually, artistic differences led Hoffmann and several others to a break from the Secessionists to pursue another direction.


LIVE24-SEVEN.COM


BUYERS GUIDE JOS E F HOF FMANN


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