Male head with stand collar, Franz Hagenauer, Werkstatte Hagenauer Vienna, ca. 1937, alpacca chased and polished, marked
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The design of this visionary head sculpture dates from the time period of the mid 1930s. Masterfully chased from one piece of alpaca, it shows the impressive design power of the young Franz Hagenauer and his sculptural qualities at the pulse of the time. Inspired by the contemporary avant-garde and Futurism, he radically reduces the anatomical forms to a stereometrical, ovoid head and a cylindrical neck.
In the Hagenauer-exhibition catalog from 2011, curator Olga Kronsteiner writes of a similar head, made of alpacca, dated 1936, that it “(…) is considered a key work because of its extreme reduction to the abstracted forms of the head.”* Its uncompromising reduction lends the head an archaic austerity and timeless radiance. The only adorning elements on the hermetic male head are a suggested hairline, an extremely reduced ear on the front side, and, as the only accessory, a stylized stand-up collar.
*Bib.: Olga Kronsteiner, Monika Wenzl-Bachmeier (ed.), Hagenauer – Viennese Modernism and New Realism, exhibition catalogue Wagner:Werk Postsparkasse, Vienna 2011, p. 50-51
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