Sailing boat with African woman, Werkstatte Hagenauer Wien, cast brass, 1940s, marked
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In the 1920s of the 20th century, foreign continents with their exotic cultures increasingly exerted a great fascination on Europe. The 1931 Paris Colonial Exhibition (Exposition coloniale internationale), for example, attracted an incredible 33 million visitors in just six months and had a lasting impact on Expressionist Art and European arts and crafts.
During this time, the Werkstatte Hagenauer produced their first figurines in African style and had great success. The design of this sleek sailboat with African woman dates back to the 1930s. In typical manner, its shape is highly reduced and stylized.
Werkstätte Hagenauer – stylistic evolution and importance
Today, the Werkstatte Hagenauer is rightfully among the most important Austrian Arts & Crafts manufacturers of the 20th century. The clear, strict formal language combined with dynamic poses and the usage of brass, nickel-plated, patinated or bare, along with copper, alpaca and exotic wood shows a high level of recognition.
However, it took the siblings Karl and Franz Hagenauer quite some time until they developed their own unique style. Karl and Franz both attended the Vienna School of Arts & Crafts and studied under Josef Hoffmann, Oskar Strnad, Anton Hanak and Dagobert Peche.
Until the closure of the Werkstatte Hagenauer on December 30, 1987, art objects of outstanding quality were still being produced. The siblings Karl and Franz Hagenauer strongly contributed in coining the term „design“ through their legacy and are surely among the most influential Austrian artists of the 20th century.
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