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EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS
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1938 - 1943
CurzioMalaparte  AdalbertoLibera  
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Casa Malaparte. Furniture, London, GagosiCurzio Malaparte, Casa Malaparte, Furniture, London, Gagosianan, 15 june / 19 september 2020

Gagosian is pleased to present new editions of furniture pieces from the legendary Casa Malaparte in Capri, Italy.

In 1937, renowned author Curzio Malaparte—born as Kurt Erich Suckert in 1898—purchased a plot of land overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. There, he supervised the construction of Casa Malaparte, his residence and architectural brainchild, to which he referred affectionately as “casa come me” (house like me). Designed in its entirety by Malaparte, from floor plan to furniture, the house blends classical and modernist influences, united under one roof with inimitable poetic drama.

From the curving white windbreak that arcs across its roof terrace to its deliberately secluded location atop a jutting promontory, Casa Malaparte embodies its maker’s renegade streak. Notorious for vacillating between religious and political ideological extremes, Malaparte was an active participant in the avant-garde artistic and literary circles of his time. After his death in 1957, the house lives on as an architectural masterwork and an inspirational platform for contemporary artists and designers.

For this special exhibition, Tommaso Rositani Suckert, Malaparte’s youngest descendant, has produced editions of the key pieces of furniture that grace the house to this day: a table, a bench, and a console. Manufactured in Italy, each piece comprises a simple, elegant solid walnut slab with supports in different materials. For the table, this is a pair of columns carved from solid pine in smooth, winding diagonal curves that accentuate the natural patterns of the wood grain; for the bench, the legs are composed of column capitals cut from Carrara marble; and for the console, they are made of tuff stone capitals. Each juxtaposes familiar motifs from the rich classical past of Malaparte’s native Italy with minimalistic modern forms.

In this transportive presentation, the Davies Street gallery will be adapted to resemble Casa Malaparte’s main room, a stone-floored salon with ocean vistas that famously features in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1963 film Contempt. Also on view will be a suite of Baroque-styled porcelain pieces formerly owned by Malaparte. These works, which include floral-studded mirrors and candelabras as well as freestanding sculptures, depict figures and allegorical scenes from classical mythology. Combining Malaparte’s captivating designs with this personal effects, the exhibition will pay homage to the life and spirit of one of the most complex and mysterious figures of the Italian avant-garde.
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ARCHITECTS
 
AMO, Countryside, The Future, New York (USA), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Rotunda, 20 february / 14 august 2020


Arctic Nordic Alpine. Im Dialog mit der Landschaft, Snøhetta / In Dialogue With Landscape, Snøhetta, Berlin, Aedes Architecture Forum, 4 july / 20 august 2020
MVRDV Haus Berlin / MVRDV House Berlin, Berlin, Architektur Galerie Berlin, 10 july / 22 august 2020

MVRDV Haus Berlin, MVRDV House Berlin, Berlin, Architektur Galerie BerlinMVRDV celebrates opening of its Berlin office with MVRDV Haus Berlin exhibition
MVRDV Haus Berlin, MVRDV House Berlin, Berlin, Architektur Galerie Berlin
Ahead of the opening of their new Berlin office in September, MVRDV has launched a new exhibition at the Architektur Galerie Berlin, celebrating almost 30 years’ worth of work in Germany. The walls of MVRDV Haus Berlin form a densely packed archive that shows off both current and past German projects by MVRDV – including unseen projects from our past and newly-revealed future projects. At the same time, a team of MVRDV’s architects working on German projects transforms part of the exhibition into a ‘working office’ that gives visitors an insight into MVRDV’s working methods.

MVRDV’s relationship with Germany began in their very first project, the Europan 1991 winner Berlin Voids. The project encapsulates ideas that have come to define MVRDV’s work as a practice, and soon the bold designs of the newly founded MVRDV office were implemented in Germany: The equally radical and impressive proposal for the Dutch pavilion at Expo 2000 became an icon on the Expo site in Hannover.

But there is much more architecture by MVRDV in Germany, some only on paper but much of it realized. For example, the Unterföhring Park Village was completed shortly after Expo 2000, while Werk12 in Munich was completed in 2019. Other projects are currently under construction such as Phase 2 of Hamburg Innovation Port and Zollhafen Mainz, and more designs are in progress, such as the KoolKiel development, Kreativquartier Potsdam, and the recently announced Expo Pavilion 2.0, including renovations and additions to the original Expo 2000 building.

MVRDV Haus Berlin, MVRDV House Berlin, Berlin, Architektur Galerie BerlinMVRDV Haus Berlin replicates the spirit of the firm’s headquarters in Rotterdam, not only in appearance with signature wall-to-wall orange monochrome, but also in its transparency. Visitors are invited to enter a working office, gaining insight into not only MVRDV’s projects but also the way MVRDV works.

“When we competed in Europan, whether or not the project would be built was not our main priority – being radical was”, says founding partner Jacob Van Rijs. “Now that we’ve had a chance to work more in Germany and even built some of our designs, we look forward to bringing that radical streak to Berlin on a permanent basis. We hope that sharing our work and working methods in MVRDV Haus Berlin will form the start of a productive exchange of ideas between MVRDV and other German architects, clients, officials, and the public.”

MVRDV Haus Berlin is open at the Architektur Galerie Berlin through August 22nd. The firm’s new permanent office near Park am Gleisdreieck will open in September.
Domus Aurea. Martino Gamper, Francesco Vezzoli e le ceramiche di Gió Ponti, Prato (Italy), Centro Pecci, 5 april / 30 august 2020
Souto de Moura. Memória, Projectos, Obras / Memory, Projects, Works, Matosinhos (Portugal), Casa da Arquitectura, Centro Português de Arquitectura,18 october 2019 / 6 september 2020Souto de Moura, Memória Projectos Obras, Memory Projects Works, Matosinhos, Portugal, Casa da Arquitectura
Richard Neutra, Wohnhäuser für Kalifornien, California Living, Vienna, Wien Museum MUSA
Richard Neutra. Wohnhäuser für Kalifornien / California Living, Vienna [Wien], Wien Museum MUSA, 13 february / 20 september 2020
Gio Ponti, Amare l'Architettura, MAXXI, 2020, RomaGio Ponti. Amare l'Architettura, Roma, MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, 27 november 2019 / 13 april 2020 27 september 2020

Architect, designer, art director, writer, poet and critic, Gio Ponti was an allround artist who traversed much of the 20th century, profoundly influencing the taste of his time, responding to its most significant demands and anticipating many of the themes of contemporary architecture.

Gio Ponti, Amare l'Architettura, MAXXI, 2020, Roma40 years on from his passing, MAXXI, the National Museum of XXI Century Arts, is devoting a major retrospective to this exceptional figure. The exhibition examines and presents his multi-faceted career, starting with an account of his architecture, a unique and original synthesis of tradition and modernity, history and progress, elite culture and quotidian existence.

The exhibition title, GIO PONTI. Amare l’architettura (Loving architecture) echoes that of his best-known book, Amate l’architettura (In praise of architecture). Curated by Maristella Casciato (Senior curator of Architectural Collections at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles) and Fulvio Irace (architecture critic and historian) with Margherita Guccione (Director, MAXXI Architettura), Salvatore Licitra (Gio Ponti Archives, Director) and Francesca Zanella (CSAC, President), the show will be hosted in MAXXI’s stunning Gallery 5 from 27 November 2019 to 13 April 2020 and has been produced by MAXXI in collaboration with CSAC - Centro studi e archivio della communicazione of the University of Parma, which conserves Gio Ponti’s professional archive, and the Gio Ponti Archives.

Gio Ponti, Amare l'Architettura, MAXXI, 2020, RomaFor Giovanna Melandri, President of the Fondazione MAXXI, “Celebrating the greatness of Gio Ponti signifies immersing ourselves in a legacy that is peerless in terms of versatility, talent and application. Private buildings and public commissions, companies and places of study, objects of everyday use, office and naval furnishings, cathedrals and museums alternate within research that was never dogmatic or ideological, in which there was dialogue between classicism and modernity, the natural landscape and the urban horizon, the social vocation of space and the safeguarding of beauty.” As Margherita Guccione, Director of MAXXI Architettura says, “Neither classical nor modern, the work of Gio Ponti was unique in the history of Italian 20th century architecture, a century the architect spanned almost in its entirety, ranging from the design of objects of everyday use to the invention of spatial configurations for the modern home and the creation of complex projects embedded within the urban context, maintaining architecture, setting and saving grace of our lives, as the fixed core of his research.

The exhibition is the fruit of painstaking research that has aimed to update our understanding of the figure of Ponti the architect, highlighting a number of the guiding issues underlying his long career and his extraordinary ability to foreshadow the spaces and concepts of contemporary architectural practice. His aspiration towards verticality and lightness through the dematerialization of facades, his conception of a green city in which nature returns to playing a key role in the agenda of planning and architecture, as well as designing flexible domestic spaces, capable of adapting to the demands of their users, are without doubt themes that, over half a century ago, anticipated with unique clarity the concerns of the present-day.
100 anni di Vico Magistretti

Washington, IIC Istituto Italiano di Cultura, october 2020

Budapest, IIC Istituto Italiano di Cultura, october 2020

Prague [Praha], IIC Istituto Italiano di Cultura, 13 march / 10 april 2020

Berlin, IIC Istituto Italiano di Cultura, 5 march / 8 may 2020

Metz (France), IIC Istituto Italiano di Cultura, 3 march / 13 march 2020
Strasbourg (France), IIC Istituto Italiano di Cultura, 3 march / 13 march 2020

New York, IIC Istituto Italiano di Cultura, 27 february / 31 march 2020

Stockholm, IIC Istituto Italiano di Cultura, 3 february / 7 february 2020

Cologne [Köln] (Germany), IIC Istituto Italiano di Cultura, 13 january / 3 february 2020
Raimund Abraham: Angles and Angels. Drawings Models Prototypes, Vienna [Wien], MAK - Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst - Gegenwartskunst / Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art, MAK Works on Paper Room, [25 march / 19 july 2020] 16 june / 18 october 2020

Raimund Abraham, Angles and Angels, Drawings Models Prototypes, Vienna, Wien, MAKIn the solo exhibition RAIMUND ABRAHAM: Angles and Angels. Drawings Models Prototypes, the MAK presents works by the Austrian-American architect Raimund Abraham (1933–2010). Abraham developed his oeuvre through a close interweaving of art, philosophy, literature, and film. Starting out from the drawing as paradigmatic of his creative vision, the exhibition presents some 50 sketches, collages, models, furniture prototypes, and designs—for both realized and unrealized projects—that explore the dynamics of individual and sociopolitical challenges faced by his age.

Raimund Abraham, Angles and Angels, Drawings Models Prototypes, Vienna, Wien, MAKRaimund Abraham saw himself much more as a theoretician than as a practicing architect. His manifesto EYES DIGGING (2001) makes clear his explorative approach to architecture, as well as the significance of visionary writers such as Stéphane Mallarmé, James Joyce, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Arnold Schönberg for his experimental work in architecture. His elementary, minimalist designs were influenced by archetypical and neo-futuristic primary forms.

In 1967/68, the trio Raimund Abraham, Hans Hollein, and Walter Pichler staged the exhibition Architectural Fantasies: Drawings from the Collection in the MoMA—the Museum of Modern Art in New York—in which Abraham presented works on issues such as utopia, the city, and the environment. In the early sixties, Abraham also explored the origins of building culture and in his 1963 book Elementare Architektur [Elementary Architecture] he analyzed agricultural buildings in the Alpine region. In exploring the basic axioms of architecture, he sought to delineate an elementary constructional grammar.

Raimund Abraham’s extensive graphic work is the focus of the exhibition. At the beginning of the sixties, he created sketches and collages for visionary rooms, buildings, and utopian city models, exemplified in a wide range of exhibits. The geometrical forms of the colored collage Ohne Titel [Untitled] from the sixties, for instance—with their evocations of earth, water, and air—suggest a futuristic landscape.

Raimund Abraham, Angles and Angels, Drawings Models Prototypes, Vienna, Wien, MAKMegabridge (1964), Continuous Building Project (1967), Universal House (1967), and Moon Crater City (1967) exemplify Abraham’s studies on “linear cities.” They describe architectonic environments related to the classicistic revolutionary architecture and manifestos of the sixties—to space exploration and the modular designs of the British architecture collective ARCHIGRAM (1963–1974). The ideas in these projects were further developed by Abraham in the unrealized 1991 Kugel-Projekt [Sphere Project] for the MAK Terrace Plateau in the Museum Garden.

Raimund Abraham networked both nationally and internationally with artists, artchitects, and movie makers, including Herrmann Nitsch, Dieter Roth, Peter Kubelka, Walter Pichler, Hans Hollein, Vito Acconci, Peter Eisenman, and Lebbeus Woods, as well as movie director Jonas Mekas. Mekas created a six-hour homage to Abraham in his 2013 Scenes from the Life of Raimund Abraham, that will be shown as part of the exhibition’s supporting program on 31 Mar, 11 Apr, 2 Jun, and 4 Jul 2020 in the MAK Lecture Hall.

A fine example of Raimund Abraham’s playful approach to geometry, arithmetic, and proportion is his unrealized project House for Euklid (1983), in which architecture is grasped as movement and mechanism, giving form to kinetic space and the potential dormant in infinity. Abraham demonstrated the power of political symbolism in architecture in his 1981/82 sketch Kirche an der Berliner Mauer [Church on the Berlin Wall]. This unrealized project may be read as symbolizing the social unity of Germany and Europe.

Raimund Abraham’s major work, the spectacular new building for the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York dating from 2002, is one of the most significant contributions to contemporary architecture in Manhattan. Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, from September 1999 to August 2007 Director of the Austrian Cultural Forum—an institution founded by private initiative in 1942 as a center of resistance to the National-Socialist regime—accompanied the completion and opening of the new building and was responsible for the Forum’s program until 2007. Abraham, who trenchantly described the skyscraper as a “guillotine,” broke up the monotony of the slender 84 meter high and 7.5 meter wide building with staggered façade elements and a surreal interplay of glass, aluminum, and zinc surfaces.

As one of his late works, Raimund Abraham planned the posthumously completed Haus für Musiker [House for Musicians] (1996–2010) as part of the Hombroich Museum Island project on the site of the former NATO missile base in Neuss, Germany. “The structure is not a building but a city for four inhabitants. The basic idea behind the structure is determined by an equilateral triangle. Triangle and circle form the focus. When architecture approaches sculpture, you get art,” said Abraham of one of his last designs.

The exhibits in RAIMUND ABRAHAM: Angles and Angels. Drawings Models Prototypes originate for the most part from the archive of Una Abraham, as well as from the collection of the Architekturzentrum Wien and the MAK Contemporary Art Collection.

Raimund Abraham, Angles and Angels, Drawings Models Prototypes, Vienna, Wien, MAK
Daniel Buren, Illuminare lo spazio, lavori in situ e situati, Bergamo, GAMeC, ItalyDaniel Buren. Illuminare lo spazio, lavori in situ e situati, Bergamo (Italy), GAMeC – Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo, Sala delle Capriate, Palazzo della Ragione, Città Alta, 9 july / 1 november 2020

Dopo i mesi di sospensione delle attività dovuta al lockdown, la GAMeC – Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo annuncia l’apertura della mostra Daniel Buren. Illuminare lo spazio, lavori in situ e situati, che si terrà giovedì 9 luglio 2020 presso lo storico Palazzo della Ragione, sede estiva della Galleria per il terzo anno consecutivo.

La presentazione di un nuovo, importante progetto espositivo di respiro internazionale all’interno di un luogo simbolo della città italiana maggiormente colpita dalla recente pandemia assume oggi una forte valenza simbolica, come segno di rinascita, oltre a portare con sé un connaturato valore artistico e di ricerca.

Esponente di spicco dell’Institutional Critique – la tendenza all’interrogazione critica delle istituzioni artistiche emersa intorno alla fine degli anni Sessanta del secolo scorso – Daniel Buren ha utilizzato per la prima volta nel 1965, come supporto per la propria pittura ridotta al grado 0, una tenda da sole, il cui motivo a bande verticali bianche e colorate di 8.7 cm è divenuto, da quel momento in avanti, un dispositivo visivo utilizzato dall’artista in tutti i propri lavori, dalle mostre alle commissioni pubbliche. Illuminare lo spazio, lavori in situ e situati nasce dall’incontro tra questi fondamentali orientamenti della ricerca dell’artista e l’interesse più recente per la luce, e in particolare per le qualità e il potenziale estetico e costruttivo della fibra ottica.

Daniel Buren, Illuminare lo spazio, lavori in situ e situati, Bergamo, GAMeC, ItalyNel suggestivo contesto della Sala delle Capriate, i tessuti luminosi di Buren – presentati per la prima volta in un museo italiano – ridefiniscono gli ambienti storicamente destinati all’amministrazione e all’esercizio della giustizia cittadina, gettando “nuova luce” sulle antiche forme del Palazzo e sugli affreschi in esso conservati, staccati dalle facciate delle case e dalle chiese dell’antico borgo urbano e qui collocati negli anni Ottanta del Novecento.

Dall’incontro tra un gruppo di interventi “in situ”, immaginati appositamente per lo spazio della sala, e una serie di lavori “situati”, adattati cioè agli spazi del grande salone ma idealmente trasferibili in altri contesti, nasce il progetto di Buren per la città di Bergamo, che per la prima volta apre le porte al pensiero e alla creatività del celebre artista francese affidandogli la rilettura di uno dei suoi luoghi storici più rappresentativi.

Quello di Buren è un lavoro “per” e “nello” spazio, un unicum scultoreo con un forte connotato plastico, indipendente e anti-decorativo, e, allo stesso tempo, con una predisposizione all’interpretazione e alla valorizzazione degli elementi artistici e architettonici preesistenti.

I teli in fibra luminosa sono l’esito ultimo della ricerca di Buren, la parte recente e aggiornata di un percorso creativo originale e celebrato. Essi non rappresentano soltanto l’evoluzione tecnologica di concetti e principi compositivi consolidati, ma costituiscono, a tutti gli effetti, una nuova condizione costruttiva, un nuovo modo di esistere nello spazio, in ragione delle loro peculiari qualità intrinseche, del loro essere portatori interni di sostanza raggiante e, allo stesso tempo, fonte di luce per gli ambienti.

Dopo essere state presentate all’interno di alcune importanti gallerie e musei, le fibre ottiche di Buren si trovano in questa occasione a vivere per la prima volta una nuova dimensione spaziale e un inedito dialogo con un contesto storico di grande valore.

“L'apertura della mostra di Daniel Buren a Palazzo della Ragione è il segno più visibile della volontà della GAMeC di essere vicina alla comunità di Bergamo anche in questa delicata fase di ripartenza” dichiara il Direttore Lorenzo Giusti.
15 Years of the Josef Hoffmann Museum, Brtnice (Czech Republic), Josef Hoffmann Museum, 18 may / 1 november 2020
Isaac Julien, Lina Bo Bardi. A Marvellous Entanglement, Roma (Italy), MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, 27 may / 4 october 2020 24 september 2020 / 17 january 2021
I disegni giovanili di Le Corbusier, 1902-1916, Mendrisio, Switzerland, Teatro dell'Architettura, 19 september 2020 / 24 january 2021
1, 10, 100 Magistretti, Milano, Fondazione studio museo Vico Magistretti, 2020 / february 2021
Adolf Loos: Private Houses, Vienna [Wien], MAK - Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst - Gegenwartskunst / Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art, MAK Permanent Collection Contemporary Art, 18 november 2020 / 14 march 2021
Juan Navarro Baldeweg. Architettura, Pittura, Scultura. In un campo di energia e processo, Brescia (Italy), Museo di Santa Giulia, 26 june 2020 / 10 january 2021 18 september 2020 / 5 april 2021
Gae Aulenti: A Creative Universe, Weil-am-Rhein (Germany), Vitra Schaudepot, 29 february 2020 / 18 april 2021

Gae Aulenti: A Creative Universe, 
Vitra Schaudepot
, Vitra Design Museum, Weil-am-RheinGae Aulenti is one of the most influential architects and designers of the post-war period. As early as the 1960s, her iconic creations – such as her »Locus Solus« series (1964), the »Pipistrello« (1965) and »King Sun« (1967) lamps – played a vital role in Italy’s global dominance within the field of product design. The Italian designer gained international renown for her transformation of a Parisian train station into the Musée d’Orsay (1980–1986). But although Aulenti realized over 700 projects, she is relatively unknown outside her native Italy. The Vitra Design Museum seeks to counteract this undeserved neglect with »Gae Aulenti: A Creative Universe«. The exhibition explores Aulenti’s multifaceted body of work, one that encompasses not only architectural projects and design objects, but also interiors, set and costume design, as well as exhibitions. The Vitra Schaudepot will present roughly 35 items from across her career, complemented by photographs, sketches, and drawings, as well as a slideshow, documentary films, and interviews.

Gae Aulenti: A Creative Universe, 
Vitra Schaudepot
, Vitra Design Museum, Weil-am-RheinThe exhibition opens with Aulenti’s early designs for the company Poltronova. These include her first item of furniture, »Sgarsul« (1962), which is characterized by a highly distinctive and modern use of forms, as well as her garden furniture series, »Locus Solus« (1964). The »Stringa« sofa (1963) and many other items Aulenti designed, she also used to furnish her own home. Additionally, she developed products for Zanotta, including a tubular steel version of »Locus Solus« (1964) and an extremely lightweight, easy-to-store folding chair, the »Aprilina« (1964). In 1970/71, she developed the latter into a more solid side-folding version with a matching footrest. The products she made concurrently for FontanaArte display her use of diverse materials and her innovative approach to her work. For instance, the top of the »Giova« (1964) glass lamp may be used as a vase, and the sculptural »Rimorchiatore« (1967), made of lacquered metal, is a hybrid lamp, vase, and ashtray.

Along with glass and metal, Aulenti also worked with other materials. Her »Jumbo« (1965) table for Knoll, for example, was made of marble. This massive item evinces her precisely constructed and architectural use of forms, which was visible already in her early designs. Aulenti established her reputation as an interior designer with her work for the typewriter manufacturer Olivetti’s showrooms in Paris (1966/67) and Buenos Aires (1968). In Paris, she used laminated plastic and stainless steel to emphasize the highly up-to-date quality of the products on display. She also made use of her »Pipistrello« (1965) lamps – one of her most iconic objects, to this day manufactured by Martinelli Luce. In Buenos Aires, she used mirrored ceilings to achieve a kaleidoscopic effect enhanced by her »King Sun« (1967) lamps, designed especially for this showroom like many of her objects. The oversized dimensions of this lamp, which might be unexpected at first glance, are echoed in other designs, such as her »Ruspa« and »Oracolo« lamps (both 1968).

Gae Aulenti: A Creative Universe, 
Vitra Schaudepot
, Vitra Design Museum, Weil-am-RheinHer metamorphosis of the Gare d’Orsay in Paris from a train station into a museum between 1980 to 1986 is one of her best-known architectural projects, and it garnered her and her architectural practice international fame. This was followed by commissions to redesign the interior of the MNAM - Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (1982–85), to renovate the Palazzo Grassi in Venice (1985/86), and to rebuild the Palau Nacional of Montjuïc in Barcelona between 1985 and 1992, which became the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. Her work on the Gare d’Orsay included items she designed and which later were adopted for home use, such as picture frames with accompanying supports. Aulenti’s furnishings for Palazzo Grassi derived from her set designs for Gioachino Rossini’s opera »Il viaggio a Reims« (1984/85), which drew on her’s long-standing work as a set and costume designer.

Thanks to additional loans from the Gae Aulenti Archive in Milan and other lenders, the exhibition »A Creative Universe« also includes a selection of the Italian designer’s lesser-known works, such as packaging designs for make-up products by the French company Rochas in 1978, vases for the Murano glass manufacturer Venini from 1995 to 2008, and »Toaster« (1996) and »Blender« (1998) for the electronics manufacturer Trabo. These works reveal Aulenti’s immense versatility and her great sensitivity to the unique needs of each situation. Aulenti was less interested in maintaining a homogenous style than in providing visionary solutions to problems. Nevertheless, almost all of her designs share a striking formal language and emblematic silhouettes. Her objects arrest the eye and remain unforgettable.
Josef Hoffman - Otto Prutscher, Brtnice (Czech Republic), Josef Hoffmann Museum, 1 july / 18 april 2021

Josef Hoffman, Otto Prutscher, Brtnice, Czech Republic, Josef Hoffmann MuseumThe 2019 annual exhibition in the Josef Hoffmann Museum in Brtnice, a joint exhibition of the Moravian Gallery, Brno, and the MAK, Vienna, is dedicated to Josef Hoffmann’s (1870–1956) association with Otto Prutscher (1880–1949). Like Hoffmann an architect and designer, Prutscher was master of all materials used in the applied arts. He was an exhibition designer, a teacher, and a member of the most important reform movements in art from the Secession to the Wiener Werkstätte and the Werkbund. On the occasion of the 70th anni- versary of Otto Prutscher’s death this year, the exhibition highlights the importance of his work for the development of Viennese Modernism.

Josef Hoffman, Otto Prutscher, Brtnice, Czech Republic, Josef Hoffmann MuseumStarting in the 1980s—together with the protagonists of the “Vienna Style” around 1900— Otto Prutscher started to gain wider recognition. Similar to Josef Hoffmann, the first comprehensive studies of whose works appeared in Italy after the Second World War, in Otto Prutscher’s case it was the Italian architectural journal Metamorfosi that, in 1994, issued his “Unpublished works from archives in Como and Vienna”.

Ten years younger than Josef Hoffmann and Adolf Loos, Otto Prutscher belonged to the first generation of Vienna Arts and Crafts School students to benefit from the curricular reforms directed by Felician von Mayrbach and from the teaching of young professors such as Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser. Prutscher mastered a range of materials in his father’s cabinetmaking workshop, as well as as in bricklaying and carpentry apprenticeships, completed in the summer vacations.

After his acceptance at the the Vienna Arts and Crafts School in 1897, Prutscher took a course with Willibald Schulmeister in ornamental drawing, and later for two semesters a specialist class in architecture with Josef Hoffmann. The training he received from the secessionist architect Hoffmann and the premodern painter Matsch was to leave its mark on Prutscher’s designs and completed works—in terms of both the graphic quality of his designs and his orientation towards current trends in architecture. From 1907 Prutscher began to work for the Wiener Werkstätte, and from 1909 he taught, like Hoffmann, at the Arts and Crafts School.

Hoffmann worked with Prutscher for decades on projects such as the Vienna Kunstschau of 1908 and the Cologne Werkbund exhibition of 1914, sharing with him an unbounded creative drive. Today Prutscher’s recorded oeuvre includes over 50 buildings (villas, apartment houses, and portals), nearly 50 exhibitions organized and designed alone or with others, some 170 installations, over 300 designs for installations, and over 200 suites and individual pieces of furniture.

Prutscher’s designs were implemented by more than 200 enterprises, principally the Wiener Werkstätte but also important manufactories such as Backhausen, Klinkosch, Augarten, Meyr’s Neffe, Schappel and Melzer & Neuhardt, and the Deutsche Werkstätten in Dresden. In addition he was artistic advisor to Thonet, Loetz Witwe, and Wienerberger. Twenty years after the first monograph on and exhibition of his work (Otto Prutscher. 1880–1949. Architektur, Interieur, Design [Otto Perutscher, 1880–1949: Architecture, Interior, Design], University of Applied Arts Vienna, 1997), the exhibition JOSEF HOFFMANN – OTTO PRUTSCHER discusses Prutscher’s complex achievement against the background of Hoffmann’s oeuvre. Both spatially and thematically, it is a continuation of the permanent exhibition JOSEF HOFFMANN: Inspirations, that since 2009 has been tracing the roots Hoffmann’s artistic inspiration in his birthplace Brtnice. Starting on 20 November 2019, the MAK will be presenting a comprehensive solo exhibition: OTTO PRUTSCHER. Allgestalter der Wiener Moderne [Otto Prutscher: Universal Designer of Viennese Modernism].
Josef Hoffmann: Progress by Beauty, Vienna [Wien], MAK - Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst - Gegenwartskunst / Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art, MAK Exhibition Hall, 10 december 2020 / 18 april 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
Shine, Firenze (Italy), Palazzo Strozzi, autumn 2021
 
 
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