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1904 - 1906
Frank LloydWright  
Stati Uniti [United States] Buffalo
Romanticism to Ruin: Two Lost Works of Sullivan and Wright, Chicago, Wrightwood 659, 24 september / 27 november 2021

Wrightwood 659 presents Romanticism to Ruin: Two Lost Works of Sullivan and Wright, a dual exhibition exploring two of these architects’ long-demolished masterpieces: Louis H. Sullivan’s innovative Garrick Theater, in Chicago, which stood for only sixty-nine years, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s unprecedented Larkin Building, in Buffalo, NY, which stood for just forty-four.

The exhibition comprises two distinct presentations—Reconstructing the Garrick: Adler & Sullivan’s Lost Masterpiece and Reimagining the Larkin: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Modern Icon— conjuring the essence of these two icons of modern American architecture. With 3D models and digital recreations of the original edifices; salvaged architectural ornaments and artifacts; original furniture; historical documentation of the design, construction, and demise of the buildings; archival photographs taken by noted preservationist and photographer Richard Nickel; drawings, and historical ephemera, Romanticism to Ruin explores what made each building architecturally great and expressive of its era.
1953 - 1960
GioPonti  AntonioFornaroli  AlbertoRosselli  GiuseppeValtolina  EgidioDell'Orto  Pier LuigiNervi  
Italia Milano
Storie del Grattacielo. I 60 anni del Pirellone tra cultura industriale e attività istituzionali di Regione Lombardia, Milano (Italy), Grattacielo Pirelli (Regione Lombardia), 30 june / 30 november 2021
1956 - 1959
Frank LloydWright  
Stati Uniti [United States] Elkins Park
Andrew Pielage (photo), Sacred Spaces, Elkins Park PA, Beth Sholom Synagogue,19 september 2021 / 17 january 2022

2005 - 2015
Franco MariaRicci  Pier CarloBontempi  
Italia Fontanellato
Umberto Eco, Franco Maria Ricc,. Labirinti, Storia di un segno, Labirinto della Masone, ParmaUmberto Eco, Franco Maria Ricci. Labirinti. Storia di un segno, Casalbarbato, Parma (Italy), Labirinto della Masone, 22 may 2021 / 20 march 2022
Carlo Mollino. Allusioni Iperformali / Carlo Mollino, Allusioni Iperformali, Triennale Milano, Hyperformal Allusions, Milano (Italy), Triennale Milano, 4 september / 7 november 2021

Carlo Mollino, Allusioni Iperformali, Triennale Milano, Hyperformal AllusionsBased on an analysis of these furnishings for the Casa Albonico, a reinterpretation of the work of Mollino, a key figure in the world of twentieth-century design and architecture, highlights a series of aspects that have not yet been sufficiently examined. These range from his obsession with form and his links with the second wave of Futurism, through to his interest in craftsmanship, interior design, engineering, physics and aerodynamics. Two fundamental aspects of Carlo Mollino’s work, which the furnishings for the Casa Albonico allow us to explore, are the artisanal manufacture of his furniture and his cooperation with other artists.

The items on display were the object of an extraordinary operation to preserve the public heritage: in the summer of 2020 the export office of the Soprintendenza Archeologia Belle Arti e Paesaggio per la Città Metropolitana di Milano received a request to take some furnishings from the Casa Albonico abroad. The items were to end up in a famous European design museum. However, the dossier contained an error that was by no means secondary: the furnishings were shown as dating from between 1954 and 1956. This dating, which meant the items were less than 70 years old, would have allowed for a simplified export procedure. The Superintendency noticed the error and investigated, with advice from Triennale, which led to the application being rejected. In October 2020, the export office asked Triennale and Manolo De Giorgi, an expert on Mollino, for an opinion in order to assess the level of cultural interest of the collection. Thanks to these two opinions, which illustrated the general level of cultural importance, the export permits were denied, paving the way for a compulsory purchase by the Direzione Generale Archeologia Belle Arti e Paesaggio of the Ministry (directed by the architect Federica Galloni) in favour of the Direzione Regionale Musei Lombardia, and deposit on loan at the Triennale’s Museo del Design Italiano. The process thus came to a successful conclusion thanks to the cooperation between the institutions and to the desire of the Albonico family not to break up the collection.

Carlo Mollino, Allusioni Iperformali, Triennale Milano, Hyperformal AllusionsWhat might have been the loss for Italy of a rare example of the work of Carlo Mollino was thus transformed into an opportunity to study and promote the works of an artist who – judging by the astronomical prices that some of his pieces have fetched – is increasingly appreciated by the international market. The pieces of furniture designed for the Casa Albonico, which were mostly made in 1944 by the crafts firm Apelli, Varesio & C. for the home in Turin of Mollino’s friend, the engineer Paolo Albonico, are a table, six seats, some service chairs, sideboards in different variants (all with a trestle structure and diagonal upright), a sofa, two armchairs, a cupboard-desk and a table with a folding top. In thesecond part of his career, Carlo Mollino used biomorphic motifs as signs of a renewed relationship with nature. He drew inspiration for his works from nature as he saw it, though he never passively accepted it in the classical form of mimesis. Instead, he worked on his impressions and turned them into objects, keeping them distant from himself and letting them flow freely.

Carlo Mollino, Allusioni Iperformali, Triennale Milano, Hyperformal AllusionsOne of the artists who had the closest interactions with Mollino’s design and life was the sculptor Umberto Mastroianni (Fontana Liri 1910-1998 Marino Laziale). The architect designed a studio house in Acitrezza for him in 1944 and they worked together again on other occasions. One of these occasions was on the Casa Albonico, with a small bronze bust of a woman, which acted as a support joint on one of the pieces of furniture designed for the house. The influence of Boccioni is clear in Mastroianni’s work and it is particularly evident here in the dynamism of the forms, in which the parts of the body are represented by concave and convex spaces. This use of form reveals a Futurist approach that interprets art as a revolutionary practice.

The exhibition, the installation project of which has been entrusted to bunker arc / Carlo Gandolfi - Roberto Molteni, also includes some previously unpublished correspondence, preserved in the Triennale Milano archive. In the letters, Carlo Mollino criticises the direction taken by the institution, distancing himself from industrial design in favour of craft production. There are also original drawings from the archives of the Politecnico University of Turin and documents from private archives. Special focus displays examine the relationships between Mollino and key figures in the world of Italian design, such as Gio Ponti and Franco Albini.

The exhibition has been given added content with a site-specific installation by the artist Corrado Levi, one of Mollino’s students at the Faculty of Architecture in Turin, and with soundscapes by Painé Cuadrelli, a composer of electronic music and teacher of sound design at the IED.

Credits: photos by Gianluca Di Ioia, © Triennale Milano, text edit by Triennale Milano
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 10 march / 14 november 2021

A desire of expressing the greatness of his gaze, the complexity of his thoughts and research and the variety of Rossi's work is wAldo Rossi, L’architetto e le città, The Architect and the Cities, MAXXI, Roma 2021hat breathes life into an exhibition which is extremely rich in materials, with over 800 pieces including documents, correspondence, models, sketches, drawings and photographs coming mainly from the archives of Aldo Rossi preserved in the MAXXI Architettura Collection and by the Aldo Rossi Foundation, as well as important loans, courtesy of the IUAV of Venice - Archivio Progetti, the Deutsches Architektur museum in Frankfurt, and the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht.
Aldo Rossi, L’architetto e le città, The Architect and the Cities, MAXXI, Roma 2021, Cimitero di ModenaIn addition to Rossi's own works, the exhibition boasts photographic images coming from the many important photographers who have measured themselves against his work and have thus enriched the meaning of each work of architecture with their own personal touch. In addition to the famous images by Luigi Ghirri, the exhibition also features those by other important photographers of the likes of Gabriele Basilico, Giovanni Chiaramonte, Ugo Mulas, Mario Carrieri, Stefano Topuntoli, Antonio Martinelli, Marco Introini.

The exhibition is divided into two large sections, one narrating his projects in Italy, the other those around the world and three additional thematic; the first revisits his years of training in Milan, the others are dedicated to two of the most iconic projects carried out by Rossi: the Modena cemetery and the The Theatre of the World in Venice.

The exhibition itinerary starts from the very first thematic area, in the middle of Gallery 2, which is dedicated to the early years of his professional training in a post-war Milan, which was still recovering from the bombings and was immortalised through the camera of Enrico Peressutti. There, in the newsroom of Casabella by Ernesto Nathan Rogers or at the Casa della Cultura directed by Rossana Rossanda, emerged both the ethical need of a young Aldo Rossi to contribute to an architectural culture able to face the challenges of rebuilding after the devastation, and the poetic language that will be his faithful companion throughout his life. In this section, the vast scale replica of the Duomo Cathedral in Milan that Rossi kept in his studio can also be found.

At the two opposite ends of the Gallery are the thematic areas on the Modena Cemetery and that on The Theatre of the World.
Rossi thought of the Modena cemetery, designed in 1971 with Gianni Braghieri and to this day still unfinished, as a city of the Dead, composed of straight arcaded paths featuring two archetypal architectural figures at both ends: a red cube and a cone. This city of the Dead, notwithstanding its being so essential and metaphysical, stands very powerful and evocative, just as in the famous photograph by Luigi Ghirri, where the red cube, a shrine of the Dead during war, emerges on a white blanket of snow and is exhibited here with other photos that Ghirri took at the cemetery for the Lotus International magazine, as well as Stefano Topuntoli's aerial footage, that documented the rapport with the territory. The video-gallery is located just behind this thematic area, broadcasting the movie Ornamento e delitto written by Rossi himself with Gianni Braghieri and Franco Raggi for the XV Milan Triennale as well as interviews, speeches at conferences and documentaries.

Aldo Rossi, L’architetto e le città, The Architect and the Cities, MAXXI, Roma 2021The Theatre of the World stands moored in one of the most visible places in the world. This as evocative, joyful and ephemeral theatre unlocked the doors to international fame for Rossi. Built for the first Architecture Biennale directed by Paolo Portoghesi in 1980, this small floating theatre was located in front of the Punta della Dogana. At the end of the Biennale, it sailed to Dubrovnik and, once back in Venice, it was dismantled. Its construction and incredible journeys are documented in the drawings and the scale model as well as by the photographs by Antonio Martinelli.
Behind this thematic area, the Piroscafo bookcase, designed thirty years ago with Luca Meda (1991) and produced by Molteni&C, hosts the Quaderni Azzurri (blue notebooks), a sort of personal journal with thoughts, notes, memories and drawings that inspired the quotations of the whole itinerary of the exhibition.
Also the Parigi chairs (1989) produced by UniFor are on display in this area.

Aldo Rossi, L’architetto e le città, The Architect and the Cities, MAXXI, Roma 2021, Teatro del Mondo, VeneziaAll along Gallery 2, in a busy and crowded central corridor that recalls a city’s urban fabric, 40 models are on display laying the basis of the two main sections of the exhibition. These are dedicated to the projects carried out in Italy and in the world, fragments of a poetic yet realistic tale of the cities, where the specific colours and features of the buildings breathe life even into faceless contexts.
These models interact with technical drawings, photographs, artistic drawings of different formats and made in ink, wax, pastel, watercolour, just like architectural compositions and fantasies, where real-life, out of scale objects are mixed up with architectural elements, creating fantastical urban scenarios. Drawings and photographs are arranged on the wall and on 40 tables created ad-hoc for the occasion by Molteni & C. In addition, several cases are lined up on the walls exploring more in depth different aspects of Rossi's work and thought, such as teaching at the IUAV, his relationship with the Venice Biennale and the Milan Triennale, as well as the one he had with the city of Berlin and with America, his discovery of Japan, his passion for the movies, his editorial activity, and his successful books such as The architecture of the city, translated all over the world, or the Scientific Autobiography, a sort of personal journal in which the creation of projects and the studying become one with his personal history.

In the section dedicated to his projects in Italy, stands a large 2x2m drawing of the famous the Analogous City, a remarkable reflection on an imaginary city, suspended between memory and desire, represented through the combination of urban features, historical pieces of architecture and projects all by Rossi himself. The Analogous City also features an experimental application developed by Dario Rodighiero, which allows the viewer to select any element of the painting and provides relevant information and references for further information.
Then come the projects for two of the most important Italian theatres, the Carlo Felice in Genoa and the Fenice in Venice, those for the Piazza di Fontivegge in Perugia as well as the “Gallaratese” in Milan, a long urban building which recalls the typical Lombard case a ballatoio, set within a larger housing development designed by his fraternal friend Carlo Aymonino, both intended as attempts to confer an urban dimension to the suburbs.
Among his projects abroad, which started with the large panel of the relief of the city of Zurich, which Rossi created during the years spent teaching at the ETH in this Swiss city, a significant one is the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht, which is located on the edge of the Meuse river and is the most important museum built by Rossi.
The author of many museum projects and as many set-ups, he also designed the colourful complex of the Schützenstrasse in Berlin, a mischievous way of criticising the grey reconstruction of the German capital; the Disney Headquarters in Orlando, a colourful urban element in which the historical shape of Italian cities blend in with the verticality of their American counterparts.
Pietro Lingeri: Astrazione e costruzione / Abstraction and Construction, Milano (Italy), Triennale Milano, 7 october / 21 november 2021

Pietro Lingeri, La Centrale, Milano, Astrazione e costruzione, Triennale MilanoTriennale Milano presets Pietro Lingeri: Abstraction and Construction, a special exhibition devoted to the architect Pietro Lingeri (1894-1968), curated by Gabriele Neri and with an installation design by Onsitestudio. The event is the outcome of a partnership with the Pietro Lingeri Archive and of a project to digitise and promote the materials the Archive contains.

Pietro Lingeri, Via Melchiorre Gioia 28, Milano, Astrazione e costruzione, Triennale MilanoAs Stefano Boeri, president of Triennale Milano, explains: “Devoting an exhibition to Pietro Lingeri means paying the attention that is due to a key figure in the world of design, while also offering new interpretations and analyses. It is part of a project to show and promote the great masters, which Triennale Milano has been working on for some years now. Another important aspect of the exhibition is the fruitful partnership with the Pietro Lingeri Archive. Our institution intends to confirm its role as a repository of the archival heritage currently located across all Italy, with the aim of increasingly acting as a point of reference and an active and proactive centre devoted to Italian design and architecture.”

Elena Lingeri, the head of the Archive, said: “I am really happy that my grandfather’s works, which have received so many awards at the Triennale, are now back at Triennale as part of the digitisation project. This exciting learning process makes it possible to expand the use, horizons and cultural value of the Archive.”

The exhibition examines the work of Lingeri, one of the leading exponents of twentieth-century Italian architecture, who created some of the most important designs of Italian Rationalism in the 1930s as well as a long series of works in post-war Milan. In his work, he combined a historical perspective with a contemporary interpretation, highlighting the issues that his architectural works still raise today.

The exhibition thus brings together two levels of interpretation. The first – in the form of original sketches, drawings, photographs, models, letters and other materials, many never shown before, from the Pietro Lingeri Archive and other institutions – retraces the architect’s career, illustrating the historical context, his research into composition and construction, the relationship between modernity and tradition, his influence on the design of the city, his place in architectural debate in Italy, his sources of artistic inspiration and his many design partnerships, including those with Giuseppe Terragni, Luigi Figini, Gino Pollini, Cesare Cattaneo, Piero Bottoni, Mario Sironi, and Mario Radice. Now that the anniversary of Dante is being celebrated, prominent among the materials on display are the design plates and the original model for the Danteum, the shrine to the great poet designed by Lingeri and Terragni, which was never built but which was to have been next to the Colosseum. The exhibition gives particular emphasis to Lingeri’s work after the Second World War, which is being shown to the public for the first time in such a comprehensive manner, in order to provide an overview of his entire design career.

Pietro Lingeri, Accademia di Belle Arti, Milano, Astrazione e costruzione, Triennale MilanoThe second level of interpretation comes with a range of different contributions that look at Lingeri’s work from a contemporary perspective, bringing out the stratification that can be found in all architecture. These contributions include the photographs for the exhibition taken by Filippo Romano and Mattia Balsamini, who were called upon to examine respectively Lingeri’s buildings as they are now, and the model of the Danteum, which has rarely been shown to the public over the past eighty years. Artistic visions like those of Lisa Borgiani evoke original ways of reformulating Lingeri’s legacy, while projects by contemporary architects (including Alessandro Scandurra- Scandurra Studio Architettura, David Chipperfield Architects, Herzog & de Meuron and Onsitestudio) reflect on the reuse of his buildings and on the current relevance of the themes he explored.

The interaction between these two perspectives shows how each work is not some isolated episode, locked in the past, but rather the outcome of an incessant stratification of meanings, actors, means of representation, stories and interpretations, sometimes conflicting with each other, favouring a diachronic approach that can promote its complexity and prompt questions about the present and future of a Modernism that has many decades behind it.
Miralles. A l’escola, Barcelona (Spain), ETSAB Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura de Barcelona,22 september / 24 november 2021
Le Corbusier und die Farbe / Le Corbusier and Color, Zürich (Switzerland), Pavillon Le Corbusier, 7 may / 28 november 2021
MVRDVHNI, The Living Archive of a Studio, Rotterdam, Netherlands,  Het Nieuwe Instituut, Markthal
MVRDVHNI: The Living Archive of a Studio, Rotterdam (Netherlands),  Het Nieuwe Instituut, 6 / 28 november 2021

The exhibition MVRDVHNI: The Living Archive of a Studio looks back to the roots of MVRDV’s design philosophy. Centred upon three themes – “human”, “green” and “dream” – the exhibition traces the connections between the firm’s early projects and their more recent designs, taking visitors on a virtual journey through thirty years of work. The exhibition will be held on the sixth floor of HNI, overlooking one of the firm's much- discussed recent designs, the Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen.

MVRDVHNI, The Living Archive of a Studio, Rotterdam, Netherlands,  Het Nieuwe Instituut, VPROThe first thing that springs to mind when you think of an architectural firm's archive is a scale model, but MVRDVHNI: The Living Archive of a Studio contains much more, from sketches to correspondence with engineers and contractors about the execution of designs. MVRDV, founded in 1993, was among the first generation of firms to create a mostly digital archive; it is the first digital archive of this size acquired by Het Nieuwe Instituut. This acquisition began in 2015, and with 1,200 projects now in MVRDV’s portfolio, the archive will only grow.

The Living Archive of a Studio is an exhibition that is as incisive for an audience of architects as it is approachable for non-architects, inviting visitors to actively engage in the agency's exciting early days. This can be done by walking past the tables with explanations and models or by making a journey through the digital archive with Projectscape, a digital tool developed especially for this purpose by the MVRDV NEXT studio. HNI curators reflect upon the projects to add new layers to the story, and explore the possibilities of further opening up the archive by looking for cross-references. MVRDV-founders Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries use archive documents to recall projects in which they were closely involved.

MVRDVHNI, The Living Archive of a Studio, Rotterdam, Netherlands,  Het Nieuwe Instituut, Markthal“This exhibition will shed light on the dynamic workings of one of the most innovative architecture studios today, and how a dialogue between the firm, its archive, researchers, and others can further enrich our understanding of the possibilities of architectural practice”, says Aric Chen, the General and Artistic Director of Het Nieuwe Instituut. “With this exhibition we want to show how the first 400 projects we did influenced later work”, says MVRDV partner Jan Knikker. “We think it’s important that our archive is accessible to everyone. Sharing knowledge makes our profession richer, which is why it was good for the HNI curators to regularly work in our offices during the preparation period. I also think that this exhibition will provide depth to people who will soon visit the Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen that we designed. It’s not a coincidence that the exhibition opens on the same day as the Depot.”

The Living Archive of a Studio will be furnished with used furniture and, after the exhibition, it will generate minimal waste because all the material will be reused. This approach suits MVRDV, which has been concerned with sustainability since its inception. Having grown up with the warnings of the Club of Rome, the office wants to contribute to global measures to combat climate change – from the densification of cities and working towards CO2-neutral construction to the development of future visions of green cities in collaboration with think tank The Why Factory.
Aldo Rossi, Kresby a projekty, Bratislava, Slovakia, Sídelná budova SNMAldo Rossi. Kresby a projekty, Bratislava (Slovakia), Sídelná budova SNM, 25 june / 5 december 2021
Miralles. To be continued..., Barcelona (Spain), Fundación Enric Miralles, 15 april / 23 december 2021
Draw love build. L'architettura di Sauerbruch Hutton, Venezia Mestre (Italy), M9 - Museo del ’900, 3 september 2021 / 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
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
Manuelle Gautrand Architecture, Firminy-Vert (France), Église Saint-Pierre (Site Le Corbusier), 18 june 2021 / 16 january 2022
Andrew Pielage (photo), Sacred Spaces, Elkins Park PA, Beth Sholom Synagogue,19 september 2021 / 17 january 2022

Shine, Firenze (Italy), Palazzo Strozzi, 2 october 2021/30 january 2022
Umberto Eco, Franco Maria Ricc,. Labirinti, Storia di un segno, Labirinto della Masone, ParmaUmberto Eco, Franco Maria Ricci. Labirinti. Storia di un segno, Casalbarbato, Parma (Italy), Labirinto della Masone, 22 may 2021 / 20 march 2022
Josef Hoffman - Otto Prutscher, Brtnice (Czech Republic), Josef Hoffmann Museum, 1 july / 31 march 2022

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, AustriaJosef Hoffmann: Fortschritt durch Schönheit / Progress Through 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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