Wiener Werkstatte the Gesamtkunstwerk in Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

The actual construction was the work of ast (Villa ast). Similar to his previous creation, classicism is captured within the "fluted pillars" and "lateral projections." Numerous ornaments, such as pearl, egg-and-dart, and leaf moldings, are incorporated. Notable sculptures include one by Anton Hanak, above the tall windows on the right side of the house. Hoffmann's geometric motifs are also detected through the verticals and latticework. The furnishings also bear geometric grid patterns. Specific features include square flowers and lozenge patterns with complementary colors of white and black (white and gold is used as well). An overall impression of lightness is also achieved, with high stairwells, freestanding marble columns, and decorative glasswork. Notably, the design of the garden was intended to give off an exclusive impression. The terraces (some semi-cylindrical, some not) and ground level disparities instigate a conservative sense. In contrast, freedom is also employed with the rich modulations of light and shade on the villa's exterior. Memories of the rococo are also awakened with the "tea temple," consisting of a pond and a pergola. In general, the ornamental leaves and flowering tendrils removes the house from the "cubes" of Hoffmann's Purkerdorf Sanatorium. However, simplicity is maintained overall with the straight patterns, straight lines, and Japanese assimilations.

v. Sonja Knips House

Built between 1924 and 1925 in Vienna, the house for Sonja Knips served as the last urban villa designed by Hoffmann. Notably, the tradition of the Arts and Crafts movement (unity of the two) is embodied within the foundation and clear layout of the rooms. The front is symmetrical, with diamond shaped studs between the windows and the front door. While the exterior is equipped with a hipped roof, slated windows and chimneys, the blank interior walls consist of paintings by Gustav Klimt. Notably, Klimt's painting of Sonja Knips was his first important female portrait. Many of the same elements from previous buildings were incorporated. The contrasting verticals and horizontals were used along with the grid patterns of the garden. From the interior, the blank walls provide the space evident in many of Hoffmann's buildings. However, instead of the usual abstract depiction throughout, Hoffmann also mixes in the arabesque. Structures were lighter and more curvaceous instead of simply cubic. Sensuality in the sleeping quarters is also added with a Venus painting by Susi Singer. In front of the bedroom window, a ceramic female nude (Singer) is also observed. The usage of "warm" and "cool" fluctuate from room to room. Similar to the Palais Stoclet, cherry-wood panels 'warm up' the bedroom while shades 'cool off' the dressing room. Lightness and transparency is maintained, with the recurrent linking of the living room, dining room, kitchen and study. Significantly, however, the house serves as a doorway towards a different, more modern future.

IV. Fashion and Product Design

Regarding fashion and accessories, recognition comes from the new designs with their noticeably original patterns and colors. Fashion, along with textiles, served to be Wiener Werkstatte's most successful commercial branch. Eduard Josef Wimmer-Wisgrill established the department in 1910. Designer Paul Poiret bought large quantities of the fabrics in 1911, resulting in major influences on Parisian fashion and French textile design. Notably, Wimmer-Wisgrill founded the fashion department after the clothing of various clients failed to match their Werkstatte surroundings. As homage to women, fashion was dominated by "arty drapes of silk" and "bubbling excitement." The foundation for innovative Viennese fashion involved the fabrics produced by major suppliers such as Hoffman, Moser, and Dagobert Peche (at least 2766 designs). From 1900 onwards, art began to gain femininity. The recurring theme of unity also embodies the department, connecting fashion with art. From the interior of the Austrian Museum of Art and Industry, Peche creates intimacy between fashion and art. As stated previously the Werkstatte goal, first and foremost, is "to give objects their most practical and functional shape, and then to render them valuable and individual through the use of harmonious proportions and pleasing forms that are appropriate to the material." Again, the combination of practicality and beauty seeks to tie in life with art. In part due to war, and in part due to femininity, the women dominated the fashion department. Men designed formal attires. In addition to women artists in the workshops, women working from home were also employed. Particular obligations ranged from hat decorations to embroidery items. After the war, glass beads were used for a wide range of accessories. Inventiveness was consistently prioritized before cost. If a material was cheap, that was only by coincidence. Many major artists observed the luster of glass, along with the luminosity of their colors, with promise. In many handbags, the early designs of Josef Hoffmann (geometry, symmetry, linearity) can be detected. As always, the "total work of art" is always applied.

In the glass category, the Wiener Werkstatte never produced its own glass. Instead, Bohemian glassmakers employed by Viennese "distributors" made the material from the Werkstatte designs. Most glass distributors such as E. Bakalowits Sohne supported the stringent geometrical and floral patterns used by Moser, Hoffmann, Sika, and Powolny. Significantly, from 1916, most glass objects were not made but finished in the workshops. These included engraving and painting. Productions range from wineglasses to decanters. Comparatively, familiar designs such as diamond shaped studs and white-strips are incorporated on some. Others consist of butterflies and animal designs.

The production of bookbindings and bookplates continued for private clients from 1903 to 1925. The desire to protect and honor books in their entirety stem from the representative Werkstatte ideal of appreciating the "ultimate art" as a whole. With designs ranging from geometrical to metaphorical, Gesamtkunstwerk is a recurring concept conveyed throughout the Werkstatte shops.

Through the fields of arts and crafts, a consistent theme is repeated throughout. Unity and simplicity are common mainframes in Werkstatte art, spurred by Hoffmann's geometry and linearity. All in all, the concept of Gesamtkunstwerk extends to accommodate all works and products, from buildings to bookplates.

V. Politics and Aesthetics: The Wiener Werkstatte in the Weimar Republic

Unlike the lack of cohesion and unity in politics, the Wiener Werkstatte found unity by grouping artisans with craftsmen. During the Weimar Republic, right, middle and left wings all formed individual movements and organization. While there were various innovative and impressive suggestions for improvements, physical actions and mandates were impeded by tension among the various sects. The lack of agreement, organization, and union among the different groups was a leading cause to the Republic's demise. Individuals, unable to find the necessary harmony in their surroundings, turned to forms of literature such as books and poetry as a haven from the turmoil. Poets such as Georg and Rilke offered membership circles, one exclusive and the other inclusive. Heidegger's philosophy of revolutionary change was used to promote Nazism (he encouraged the movement). In an essence, the Republic "hungered for wholeness." Hofmannsthal believed that hope and security relied on unity. "Indeed, only where there is 'believed wholeness off existence...there is reality." He asserted that Germany needed unity, whether in regards to spirit and life, or with literature and politics. Unfortunately, those who relied on 'written words' failed to find wholeness and connection. Their escape from disunity led not to unity, but to ignorance. The break from reality both clouded and confused the mind. Worst than a tortured individual is a confused individual. This is because confusion induces vulnerability, inviting schemes such as manipulation and control. A mind tormented by disorder seeks to achieve order, no matter the form. Thus, the confusion and disorder served as a prelude to Nazism and the eventual end of the Republic.

In contrast to the inability of literature to unite the mind, art and architecture succeeded in establishing an overall unity and wholeness. Significantly, the Wiener Werkstatte embodied that principle in all its works and forms of art. With the primary goal being to unite artistry with craftsmanship, the workshop serves as an example of the Gesamtkunstwerk concept. In architecture, the linking of rooms and matching of furnishings conveys unity and connection. In fashion and accessories, unity is also detected from the Austrian fashion exhibit of Peche to the production of bookbindings in order to maintain the 'wholeness' of books. Werkstatte art offered hope for the disoriented. Various Hoffmann buildings also served as proof of the harmony of life and art. By adding beauty to a utility such as a utensil, Werkstatte artists achieved the trend of seeking beauty in everyday life (for better words, uniting art with life). The harmony of the exterior and interior of Werkstatte houses may also bring light to the need for equality among the high and the low, or the rich and the poor. Thus, among the political turmoil and verbal manipulation, artistry was the true haven for those wishing to find peace and harmony.

Aside from disunity among the political factions, the fear of modernity served as another harbinger to Weimar's downfall. Derived from "the hunger for wholeness," the fear for modernity further explains the feelings and responses of…

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