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EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS
BUILDINGS
 
1953 - 1960
GioPonti  AntonioFornaroli  AlbertoRosselli  GiuseppeValtolina  EgidioDell'Orto  Pier LuigiNervi  
Italy [Italia] Milan [Milano]
Storie del Grattacielo. I 60 anni del Pirellone tra cultura industriale e attività istituzionali di Regione Lombardia, Milano (Italy), Grattacielo Pirelli (Regione Lombardia), spring 2021
[the exhibition will be open to the public as soon as the anti-Covid containment measures allow it]
1998 - 2009
ZHA Zaha Hadid Architects
Italy [Italia] Rome [Roma]
Una storia per il futuro. Dieci anni di MAXXI / A Story for the Future. MAXXI's First Decade, Roma (Italy), MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, 17 february 2021 /  29 august 2021
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Henry Moore in Toscana, Firenze (Italy), Museo Novecento di Firenze, 18 january / 30 may 2021
Henry Moore. Il disegno dello scultore, Firenze (Italy), Museo Novecento di Firenze, 18 january / 18 july 2021
Aldo Rossi. L’architetto e le città / The Architect and the Cities, Roma (Italy), MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, 16 december 2020 / 29 august 2021
Niki de Saint Phalle. Structures for Life, New York (USA), MoMA PS1, 11 march / 6 september 2021
Adolf Loos – Nachleben. Schaufenster zum Hof, Vienna [Wien], Im Hof des Az W / Ausstellungshalle 1 (In the Az W Courtyard / Exhibition hall 1), 3 september 2020 / 30 september 2021
Kaikki ja ei mitään. Arkkitehdit Kaija + Heikki Siren / Everything and Nothing. Architects Kaija + Heikki Siren, Espoo (Finland), KAMU. Espoon kaupunginmuseo / Espoo City Museum, 23 october 2020 / 9 january 2022
Kaikki ja ei mitään. Arkkitehdit Kaija + Heikki Siren / Everything and Nothing. Architects Kaija + Heikki Siren, Espoo (Finland), KAMU. Espoon kaupunginmuseo / Espoo City Museum, 23 october 2020 / 9 january 2022
Shine, Firenze (Italy), Palazzo Strozzi, autumn 2021
Josef Hoffmann, Progress by Beauty, Vienna, Wien, MAK, AustriaJosef Hoffmann: Fortschritt durch Schönheit / Progress by Beauty, Vienna [Wien], MAK - Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst - Gegenwartskunst / Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art, MAK Exhibition Hall, 15 december 2021 / 19 june 2022


To celebrate his 150th birthday the MAK is honoring the architect, designer, teacher, exhibition organizer, and cofounder of the Wiener Werkstätte Josef Hoffmann (1870– 1956) with the most comprehensive retrospective of his entire oeuvre ever shown. Hoffmann cultivated an exemplary modern lifestyle model and focused on aesthetics and beauty as the central parameters of modern design. The exhibition JOSEF HOFFMANN: Progress Through Beauty revisits every facet of the almost 60-year creative output produced by this influential global pioneer in architecture and design around 1900 and enriches the systematic research into and dissemination of his legacy.

Josef Hoffmann, Progress by Beauty, Vienna, Wien, MAK, AustriaWith an initially puristic design vocabulary, Josef Hoffmann carved out his position as one of the protagonists of Viennese Modernism. His ideal of the Gesamtkunstwerk—or total work of art—and his outstanding buildings like Stoclet House in Brussels (1905– 1911), now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, left a mark on the architectural and artistic landscape both nationally and internationally. Although this all-round designer has featured in every important exhibition on Viennese Modernism, only sections of his oeuvre have been analyzed in full.

To mark this year’s anniversary the exhibition’s team of curators—Matthias Boeckl, Rainald Franz, and Christian Witt-Dörring—set themselves the task of closing the gaps that still exist in the research by using at times unknown sources and by updating his catalogue raisonné. According to the curators, the perception of Hoffmann’s creative work as an architect and designer is incomplete in terms of the sources used, oversimplified in terms of design aspects, and limited in terms of his geographical and historical sphere of influence.

In 20 chapters and with over 800 exhibits, the exhibition JOSEF HOFFMANN: Progress Through Beauty introduces visitors to his prodigious lifework, which covers every single aspect of daily life, including architecture, interior design, fashion, and practical objects. Originally from a wealthy middle-class family in Brtnice, now in the Czech Republic, Hoffmann lived through five different political regimes, from the Habsburg Monarchy to the Second Austrian Republic. He was considered a creator of taste and identity and lived an exemplary modern lifestyle as a teacher of many years, as an influential designer in the decorative arts, and as cofounder of the Vienna Secession, the Wiener Werkstätte, and the Werkbund. In his groundbreaking mindset he united an artistically ambitious architectural approach with an artisanally inspired product culture.

Josef Hoffmann, Progress by Beauty, Vienna, Wien, MAK, AustriaThe exhibition covers every stage of his life from his youth and studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna to his death in 1956. The focus of the exhibition is his work’s lasting impact on architecture, the decorative arts, and design, starting with his most prominent projects and buildings: Sanatorium Westend in Purkersdorf (1904/05), Stoclet House in Brussels (1905–1911), the Kunstschau in Vienna (1908), the Austrian pavilion for the Werkbund exhibition in Cologne (1914), the pavilion for the International Exposition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris (1925), the Werkbundsiedlung [Werkbund Estate] in Vienna (1931), and the pavilion for the Venice Biennale (1934). A multimedia timeline guides visitors through Hoffmann’s life and draws attention to forgotten projects and texts.

A reconstruction of the Boudoir d’une grande vedette [Boudoir for a Big Star] (1937), designed by Josef Hoffmann for the Paris World’s Fair, makes it possible to instantly experience Hoffmann’s sense of space. Furnishings like furniture and light fixtures for Árpád Lengyel’s villa in Bratislava (1929) will be on public display for the very first time, as will other never-before-seen furnishings from the villa for Sonja Knips (1924) and a variety of Josef Hoffmann’s designs that were previously hidden in archives like that of the company J. & L. Lobmeyr.

With this exhibition and its accompanying catalog, the MAK is helping to paint a much richer and more detailed picture of Josef Hoffmann as a creator and teacher and to show his role—from Modernism to the present day—in a different light. As a competence center of Viennese Modernism, the MAK is home to the world’s most comprehensive holdings of furniture, objects, and designs by Hoffmann. The MAK and the Moravian Gallery in Brno run a joint branch in the house where Josef Hoffmann was born in Brtnice, Czech Republic.



December 2020

Josef Hoffmann, Progress by Beauty, Vienna, Wien, MAK, AustriaOriginally intended to open in December 2020 to coincide with Josef Hoffmann’s 150th birthday, the exhibition JOSEF HOFFMANN: Progress Through Beauty has been post- poned for one year. The most comprehensive retrospective ever mounted on the lifework of Josef Hoffmann (1870–1956) will now be on display in the MAK Exhibition Hall from 15 December 2021 to 19 June 2022. In 20 chapters and with over 800 exhibits, the team of curators—Matthias Boeckl, Rainald Franz, and Christian Witt-Dörring—aims to revisit the entire 60-year oeuvre of this architect, designer, teacher, exhibition organizer, and cofounder of the Wiener Werkstätte. In light of the show’s conceptual and organizational dimensions and associated expense, the MAK is hoping for considerably more favorable circumstances come the opening of the exhibition late next year in order to have the broadest possible impact—not only within Austria, but also internationally.

Josef Hoffmann, Progress by Beauty, Vienna, Wien, MAK, AustriaThese challenging times during the pandemic have significantly impeded the presentation of rarely shown objects from international collections, which are able to spotlight new facets of Josef Hoffmann’s oeuvre. Furthermore, the later opening date for the exhibition makes it possible to extend the duration of this MAK project: instead of being on display for four months as originally planned, the exhibition can now be shown for half a year.

Initial insights into the exhibition JOSEF HOFFMANN: Progress Through Beauty are afforded by a discussion event to be held at the MAK on Josef Hoffmann’s 150th birthday, 15 December 2020.

The publication to accompany the exhibition, entitled JOSEF HOFFMANN 1870–1956: Progress Through Beauty. The Guide to His Oeuvre, edited by Christoph Thun- Hohenstein, Matthias Boeckl, Rainald Franz, and Christian Witt-Dörring, will be released as a German and an English edition in spring 2021 by the Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel. In 40 essays renowned international experts analyze Hoffmann’s most important buildings, interiors, and exhibitions, as well as decorative art designs and objects. Drawing on the latest research, the guide conveys the multimedia approach and wide-ranging international reception of Hoffmann’s artistic vision and is set to become a new standard reference work on Viennese Modernism in an international context.
 
 
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