Josef Hoffmann

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Josef Franz Maria Hoffmann
BirthplaceBrtnice, Moravia, Austro-Hungarian Empire
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hoffmann, Josef


Born Dec. 15, 1870, in Pirnitz (present-day Brtnice, Czechoslovakia); died May 7, 1956, in Vienna. Austrian architect.

Hoffmann studied at the Vienna School of Applied Arts and under K. von Hasenhauer and O. Wagner. He helped organize the Wiener Sezession (1897), the Wiener Werkstätte (1903), and the Österreicher Werkbund (1912). While he was a leading representative of Viennese art nouveau, the rationality of a number of his works paved the way for functionalism.

Hoffmann’s major works include the Purkersdorf Sanatorium near Vienna (1903–04), the Stoclet House in Brussels (1905), and the Austrian pavilions at many exhibitions, including the Deutscher Werkbund Exhibition in Cologne (1914).


Veronesi, G. Josef Hoffmann. Milan, 1956.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Although architect-designer Josef Hoffmann usually designed expensive handcrafted artifacts for the Wiener Werkstatte, he is also known for the bentwood furniture designs made by mechanical processes like the chair he designed for the "Fledermaus Cabaret." By integrating his characteristic rectangular and compass-drawn curvilinear forms into his design, Hoffmann updated the ever popular bentwood cafe chair developed earlier by Thonet.
(22) Although he is largely forgotten today, Luksch moved comfortably within the artistic and social circles of the Secession's more progressive artists and often collaborated with Josef Hoffmann. Between 1897 and 1905 the Secession invited some of the most exciting artistic talent working in the Habsburg Empire and across Europe to exhibit in Vienna.
In 1900 the architect Adolf Loos (1870-1933) wrote a polemical parable called 'The Poor Little Rich Man', which, like so much of his barbed criticism, is aimed squarely at his rival and contemporary Josef Hoffmann (1870-1956).
Al-Hadid will make her mark on the home of the storied Vienna Secession, an artists' union established in 1897 by an avant-garde group of Austrian painters, sculptors, and architects including Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser, and Josef Hoffmann. Siidbeck explains that the chapel-like building, which features Klimt's "Beethoven Frieze" (1902), "has a long tradition of site-specific interventions." Al-Hadid's show comprises mostly new works, anchored by two sculptures, one of which reaches all the way to the ceiling.
Crowner's recent show "The Wave," her third at this gallery, was built around a shimmering turquoise parquet, a mosaic of glazed terra-cotta tiles set into a pattern by Josef Hoffmann. Elevated as a false floor, it became at once a stage and a kind of purposeful abstraction, along the lines of Wade Guyton's 2007 intervention at Petzel Gallery, where he laid down a black plywood floor, or Jorge Pardo's long-term project at Dia's old space in Chelsea, installed in 2000, for which he paved the lobby and bookstore in sunny ceramic blocks.
The Art Nouveau section (1880-1920) covers French, secessionist and continental influences and includes the essential lady's handbag of the time by designer Josef Hoffmann.
Among the pianists Gershwin admired were the flamboyant Franz Liszt and the heroes of the day such as Josef Lhevinne, Josef Hoffmann and Ferrucio Busoni.
Entitled "Glass of the Avant-Garde: From Vienna Secession to Bauhaus, the Torsten Brohan Collection from the Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas, Madrid," the exhibit features nearly 200 examples of decorative and functional glass objects by leading designers Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser, Dagobert Peche and many other modern masters of 20th-century art, design and architecture.
In particular, architect Josef Hoffmann and well-known artists of the Wiener WerkstOte, such as Michael Powolny and Franz von Zulow, pointed the way to the Modern and Post-Modern ages with striking manufactory works.
'When they bought a great Hodler, I lent them a couple of Secessionist paintings to hang with it.' Among them was a Berthold Loffler which hung in the dining room of Josef Hoffmann's Haus Ast in Vienna, along with Klimt's Danae.
I'm fortunate that I've been to the Palais Stoclet [a private home in the Vienna Secession style designed by Josef Hoffmann in Brussels, Belgium].
"Josef Hoffmann: Interiors, 1902-1913" at New York's Neue Galerie reveals an extreme example of the impulse to create an environment unified by design, and re-creates in grand detail an early collision of past styles with the forms of industrialized labor and technologies that continue to shape our world.