Posted 8 years ago
In 1900 Hoffmann becomes the leader of both Architecture and Decorative Arts in Vienna, once Olbrich goes to Darmstadt. In the winter of the same year, Hoffmann and Koloman Moser organized the 8th Sezession exhibition to which they invite the British artists they admire the most: the Four of Glasgow (i.e. Charles Rennie Mackintosh, James Herbert McNair and their wives, the sisters Margaret and Frances Macdonald) and Charles Robert Ashbee from London. They aso invited the Belgian Henry van de Velde. From that moment the style of the Viennese Sezession tends to straight and geometric shapes, as well as architectural forms in design (Leo Baumann, Leopold Bauer, Otto Prutscher...)
In this Exhibition both Hoffmann and Moser present glass vases commissioned by the Bakalowitz firm and produced by Loetz. Both artists chosed monochrome glass with a matte iridiscence that enhances the shape of their vase designs (pic.4)
These vases seen on pic.4 are the first glass items Hoffmann designed. Those with a wooden mount were produced in 1899 (and in their design we can see the strong influence of Mackintosh). The only one amongst those on the picture he presented without a mount is this vase we're currently sharing, and was produced in 1900. This is the first of his designs showing Hoffmann's mature style, with a very architectonical shape than he repeated later in many designs for the Wiener Werkstátte, and that reminds us of the Tempietto of San Pietro in Montorio (designed by the Renaissance architect Bramante in Rome, pic. 3). Hoffmann is known to have visited Italy soon before 1900.
In this vase, the three columns seem to drop from the wide eave-like top rim, letting the glass express its fluid matter quality. As Hoffman wrote in several ocassions, the materials used in the different decorative objects should be able to express its inherent qualities. As a funny bit of information, in the pattern paper we can see that there are indications that the columns should be either 2, 3 or 4, but it seems that the two and four columns choices were discarded as they appear crossed.
Loetz would produce vases in this design using different decorations more appealing to the potencial buyer (pic.3), although these were not shown at the exhibition.
The magazine Die Kunst published in 1901 a picture of the vases designed for the VIII Austellung with the original decors chosen by Hoffmann and Moser ,(plus another mounted vase). That's the image you can see on Pic.4
PS: In this post the original pics were taken by Carlos, that's why they don't look like the ones I usually publish here. I'll ry and take more pics later, although Carlos's are also very good.