This year's exhibition in Josef Hoffmann Museum in Brtnice is dedicated to relations between Josef Hoffmann (1870–1956) and Koloman Moser (1868–1918), with 2018 marking the 100th anniversary of Moser’s death. Moser was one of the lead protagonists during Vienna's artistic renewal around 1900. Together with Josef Hoffmann, he played a decisive role in establishing Stilkunst in Austria, whether as a co-founder of the Vienna Secession in 1897, a teacher of decorative painting at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts from 1899 onwards, or as cofounder of the Wiener Werkstätte in 1903.
Like Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser possessed an unrestrained creative power and imagination, as evidenced in thousands of sketches. Yet while Hoffmann remained a tectonically exacting designer, Koloman Moser always incorporated an element of decorative painting into his projects. He represents the artistic antithesis to Josef Hoffmann’s design practice, which was oriented towards architecture and the teachings of Otto Wagner. For Moser, the figurative was always of central relevance, while even in the most austere designs one still senses an illustrative element. In 1905, the Austrian art critic Berta Zuckerkandl concluded that Koloman Moser’s interior designs manifested “every effort to create purity of form, the desire for noble proportions, the pursuit of the constructive, the avoidance of the overly decorative, the love of simple profiles, the tendency towards symmetrical forms.”
As a protagonist of the renewal of art in Vienna around 1900, Koloman Moser made a decisive contribution to the introduction of Stilkunst, including when it came to commercial graphics. The exhibition in Brtnice juxtaposes designs by both protagonists of the Wiener Werkstätte as well as the end products based on these designs.
The exhibition Josef Hoffmann—Koloman Moser overlaps spatially and themati-cally with the permanent exhibition Josef Hoffmann: Inspirations, which traces Hoffmann’s sources of artistic inspiration in his place of birth Brtnice.
Curators: Rainald Franz, Curator, MAK Glass and Ceramics Collection; Rostislav Koryčánek, Curator of Architecture and Design, Moravian Gallery, Brno.