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indd Abs8:9 19.07.11 12:13 .NORBERT WOLF PRESTEL MUNICH LONDON NEW YORK 4541_final_rl_final Bilder.

11 12:13 .12 INTRODUCTION 14 I THE NEW STYLE: AN APPROACH 18 ART LUXURY—LUXURY ART 20 THE MATTER OF ADVERTISING 23 A NEW AESTHETIC OF LIGHT 25 LUXURY FASHION AND REFORM DRESS 30 “MOBILIZING INWARDNESS” OR THE BREAK WITH THE STATUS QUO 32 SELF-PROMOTION: THE ART MAGAZINES 36 II PROBLEMS OF STYLE 40 VISIONS OF UNITY AND SPIRITUALIZATIONS 41 YOUTH—AWAKENING 46 “SACRED SPRING” 59 TOTAL WORKS OF ART 62 A CONSCIOUSNESS OF STYLE 64 “RINASCI” 68 III THE PHYSIOGNOMY OF STYLE 70 THE CULT OF BEAUTY 71 THE BEAUTY OF WOMEN 78 THE MAGIC OF JEWELRY 84 SYNESTHESIA 85 BUILT SYMPHONIES 87 PAINTED MUSIC AND DANCED ARABESQUES 98 ORNAMENTS AND LINES 99 POLARIZATIONS 106 JAPONISM 4541_final_rl_final Bilder.07.indd Abs8:10 110 IV PRELUDES 114 THE ENGLISH PATH 115 FROM BLAKE TO BEARDSLEY 19.

11 12:13 . THE PRE-RAPHAELITES.indd Abs8:11 19.07.120 FROM RUSKIN TO THE AESTHETIC MOVEMENT 188 AUSTRIA 121 189 THE WIENER WERKSTÄTTE WILLIAM MORRIS. WEIMAR AND VAN DE VELDE 295 INDEX OF NAMES 4541_final_rl_final Bilder. AND THE ARTS AND CRAFTS MOVEMENT 190 Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser 126 THE FRENCH PROPHETS 194 THE UNITED STATES 127 TOULOUSE-LAUTREC 195 NEW YORK AND TIFFANY 128 GAUGUIN AND THE NABIS 197 CHICAGO AND SULLIVAN 132 IN THE ORBIT OF SYMBOLISM 200 136 V EVERYWHERE AN AWAKENING: THE GREAT CENTERS OF ART NOUVEAU 140 GREAT BRITAIN 141 GLASGOW AND MACKINTOSH 148 FRANCE 149 PARIS VI IMAGE SYSTEMS 204 FRANZ VON STUCK 214 GUSTAV KLIMT 224 FERDINAND HODLER 232 EDVARD MUNCH 238 VII ART NOUVEAU AND THE AVANTGARDE 240 THE PARADIGM OF ARCHITECTURE 149 La Maison Bing 241 VIENNA: BETWEEN RINGSTRASSE AND “WHITE CITY” 150 Guimard 241 Otto Wagner 153 Mucha 154 GALLÉ AND THE ÉCOLE DE NANCY 160 BELGIUM 161 HENRY VAN DE VELDE: THE HOUSE IN UCCLE 162 VICTOR HORTA 166 THE NETHERLANDS 168 SPAIN 169 ANTONI GAUDÍ 172 GERMANY 246 Adolf Loos 252 THE CASTING OUT OF ORNAMENT 256 THE PARADIGM OF PAINTING 257 František Kupka 257 Kandinsky and the Blaue Reiter 262 Piet Mondrian and De Stijl 266 VIII CONCLUSION AND PROSPECTS 268 BETWEEN REALITY AND UTOPIA 173 BERLIN AND WORPSWEDE 272 THE SEMANTICS OF DESIGN 177 MUNICH 276 THE REVIVAL OF ART NOUVEAU 179 THE ARTISTS OF THE DARMSTADT MATHILDENHÖHE 180 Joseph Maria Olbrich 282 APPENDICES 182 Peter Behrens 290 REFERENCES AND SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY 183 HAGEN.

or “total” work of art. Two positions. to similarly speak of a “style. in particular Symbolism. which began a couple of decades ago (“metaphor of a utopian hope”—see below). For this reason I will approach its origins and historical development as carefully as possible. The apologists for an ornament-free art categorically condemned Art Nouveau as a cosmetic aesthetic of repression. CHAPTER VII deals with the relationship between Art Nouveau and the Functionalism of the early twentieth century. The concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk also creates a transition to the idea of the “physiognomy” of style. whose most important features lie in the all-encompassing cult of beauty (which proves itself obsolete in the further course of the twentieth century). which sought to allow art to be absorbed into everyday usefulness and thus to dispense with “superfluous” decoration.” and so on: whether the self-image expressed in these gives us the right. CHAPTER VI examines the works and impact of Franz von Stuck. as a fundamental self-delusion and cultural illusion.” Did it react to the modern world of consumerism with what Walter Benjamin called a “mobilization of inwardness” or did it place priority on an attempt to avoid being cloistered off from the world and rather to oppose the contemporary industrialized world? CHAPTER II seeks to clarify a problem rooted in the contemporary terms “Art Nouveau. dance. which follows.11 12:13 .indd Abs8:12 19. which ventured the attempt—a late one in terms of cultural history—of combining intrinsically artistic forms. CHAPTER I concerns phenomena linked with the style’s “self-promotion. in the striving for synesthetic harmony. whether. the culture of eating. Art Nouveau is realized only in the crafts and in architecture. but also fashion. Impressionism or Expressionism. CHAPTER IV introduces those nineteenth-century artistic movements that led to Art Nouveau or that closely touched upon it. that is.07.” “Jugendstil. from the perspective of art historical scholarship. was this condemnation based upon appropriate premises? CHAPTER VIII returns to this problem in a resumptive look back at the history of Art Nouveau and in light of its revival.” “Modern Style. In order to classify these qualities within the historical development.INTRODUCTION Art Nouveau cannot be presumed to have the same degree of art historical and cultural historical significance as. for example. with the exception of four outstanding painters for whom I reserve a special chapter. and in the immense significance of ornament and decoration. Gustav Klimt.” I believe that a comparison with the paradigm of Renaissance style permits important conclusions to be drawn. which additionally illuminate Art Nouveau’s penchant for the Gesamtkunstwerk. CHAPTER V is devoted to the main centers of the style and their artistic exponents. discussed in CHAPTER III. It also returns to the question raised previously of whether the art form of painting must be excluded from Art Nouveau. and an environment suit- 12 4541_final_rl_final Bilder. and Edvard Munch. Ferdinand Hodler. which I single out from the literature. that is to say as impartially as possible. offer extremely contrasting perspectives on Art Nouveau.

This limitation should not lead the reader to falsely presume that my investigations are not indebted to all the publications mentioned. factual matters. and not least Eckhard Hollmann. who supported this project from the very beginning. the question of whether one must presuppose an “inborn” failure on the part of Art Nouveau. workshops. For this reason Jugendstil will … probably live on forever as the metaphor of a utopian hope. These objectives simultaneously declare what the book does not aim to achieve: It is not one of that large group of publications that organize the development of Art Nouveau chronologically or in terms of art as a whole. namely in its effort “to bring about a reconciliation of conventional expectations about art with the phenomena of the technological age. Only chapter VII follows this model. 4541_final_rl_final Bilder. necessarily led to its swift conclusion.”2 there any intention to list designers. the organizational structure of this book necessarily ignores a whole array of points: in particular technological aspects and questions of production technology have been set aside. Nor is In addition I would like to thank Stefanie Penck of Prestel Verlag.07. for example in the case of decorative glass and furniture.11 12:13 . It raises.indd Abs8:13 19. into a style of life and of binding these to an ideal. In order to keep the bibliography within bounds. which could title itself “How Modernism Learned to Walk. and so on. but it became certain first through Jugendstil. which began toward the end of the nineteenth century. and their works anywhere near completely. “The fact that something like this was possibly a self-contradiction can be suspected. not least. As a rule I have avoided listing again in the footnotes publications already in the bibliography that clearly deal with concrete artists. with the intention of making it possible to glean synoptic information of undoubted significance. just as has a listing of factory. in fact the era in its entirety … with nothing but reflections of their own inner selves … Narcissus died because he lost himself in his own reflection. whose editorial supervision of the text was performed with reliable and seasoned diligence. Art Nouveau’s “autism. but rather in the opposing attempt. Anita Dahlinger for her astute and thorough image research.”1 According to this view. The second interpretation. This was surely painful. or whether this assumption is not the result of an overly narrow avant-garde view. and so on.13 able for children. I have limited myself to important works that are relatively easily accessible to the reader. The idea of Jugendstil [as contemporary Germans termed Art Nouveau] was to surround people. Obviously. But all the other chapters examine the fundamental problems with which Art Nouveau saw itself confronted in the historical and socio-cultural context of the epochal threshold around 1900. I also sought to set limits to the footnotes by generally citing only quotations or particularly important sources of ideas from the literature.” and especially with the driving impulses of technocratic motion. into whose coordinates “art nouveau” does not quite fit.” its aesthetic self-reflection in a mass society. and locates its guiding image in Narcissistic self-love: “Man is never less immediate than when he seeks to bring forth the immediate expression of himself. The first sees the new movement.3 The present book thus investigates fundamental aspects. artists.” locates the failure of Art Nouveau not in its Narcissism. its continuing popularity can therefore only be interpreted as the irrational desire to repeatedly delay this moment of realization. in terms of cultural psychology.

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1896 The English designer Christopher Dresser4 began teaching at the design school of London’s South Kensington Museum. The style . Klaus-Jürgen Sembach wrote in 1990 that Art Nouveau expressed itself only in the field of the applied arts and that to transfer the stylistic term to painting was to obscure matters.” 1893/94 MUSEUM FÜR KUNST UND GEWERBE. our own style in everything we create.” the great decorative arts show in Turin brought together products from America.11 12:13 . to which a different nomenclature was applied in each country.PLANTS ARE ORGANIZED BEINGS. Julius Meyer-Graefe. The new aesthetic. Christopher Dresser. which ultimately relates all individual forms of vegetation back to essential “lines of life. Hungary. is considered by some art historians to be the last unified style since the Baroque. HAMBURG 4541_final_rl_final Bilder. Sweden.indd Abs8:16 19. England. Deduced from the Vegetable Kingdom in London. which carried forward the bourgeois historicism and exoticism of the previous years clothed in a new “stylistic dress”—and that not infrequently crossed the line into kitsch— encountered an unadorned formalism that even today is still considered “classically” modern. Belgium. but not in painting or sculpture.. What Meier-Graefe might have meant in 1896 by linear “emancipation” can be seen in a dust jacket designed three years earlier by Henry van de Velde for a volume of Max Elskamp poems entitled Salutations. That same year he published his book Unity in Variety. MÜNSTER AUBREY BEARDSLEY COVER FOR “LE MORTE D’ARTHUR. the dominance of the “flower” obstructed the forward-looking path of the “pure” line. it is seen as a “non-style. bottom) makes it clear that. Henry van de Velde was one of the most important representatives of a new style. Holland.. ones that would have pleased someone like Meier-Graefe as well as ones that abandoned themselves unreservedly to a horror vacui of floral ornament. Self-celebratory ostentation.07. symbolizes the total feeling. France. Norway. POSSESSED OF A POWER OF GROWTH. phrased it as follows: “For this reason we will have a new style. To his mind. Scotland. although van de Velde too draws upon natural models. poetical sentiment and as a result abstracts it much more severely.” since allegedly any common design criteria manifested themselves only in architecture and the applied arts. Austria.5 The exponents represented all possible design options. however. freed from mimetic functions. dont d’angéliques (fig. the entire attitude to life of an era and manifests itself only in the universe of all the arts.. book 2 of the magazine Dekorative Kunst. bottom). A comparison of its decoration with that of a dust jacket designed by Aubrey Beardsley in 1893/94 for Le Morte d’ Arthur (fig. Denmark. the Belgian artist sees the flow of line as the formal echo of a non-objective. DONT D’ANGÉLIQUES. 1893 LWL-LANDESMUSEUM FÜR KUNST UND KULTURGESCHICHTE. In 1902 it made its impressive collective appearance on the international stage: With its motto “Le Arti Decorative Internazionali Del Nuovo Secolo.” It was just this clinging to plant-based ornament by the English applied arts that became the subject of criticism by German art writer Julius Meier-Graefe on page 77 of volume 1. .. On the very first page can be found the sentence quoted in the epigraph above.” BY MAX ELSKAMP. who in 1900. Germany. in 1859.6 This was diametrically opposed to the view of someone like Peter Behrens. today’s Victoria and Albert Museum.”7 16 HENRY VAN DE VELDE DUST JACKET FOR “SALUTATIONS. and the host country Italy. one that understood itself as the beacon of a new cultural era. The style of an era does not refer to specific forms in some specific type of art. by others. 1859 WHAT IMPEDES THE ENGLISH IS THEIR INABILITY TO FREE THEMSELVES FROM THE FLOWER. since the spokesmen of the time no longer sought a “high art” but rather its abolition.

“for the first time. invited parody. N.”8 Clearly then. first. LONDON 4541_final_rl_final Bilder. the applied arts [participate] in the mystical radiance that has always transfigured the great art. and Josef Hoffmann. TABLE. in ornament as a replacement for naturalistic representational elements: with the help of complex rhythms. an assessment rejected by Tim Benton. however. Easton postulates three formal premises of Art Nouveau. c. a movement emerged that was liberated from the stream of ornament. to the Functionalist building style of Louis Henry Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright. architecture. Easton thus concurs with those authors who place the death of Art Nouveau in the first decade of the twentieth century.11 12:13 . The playfully flamboyant version. Easton claims. AND METAL INLAYS CHAIR HEIGHT: 86. EMBOSSED BRASS FITTINGS. the chronology of its closing stages presents significant problems.10 But with this. long before Kandinsky. 1900 PAINTED WOOD. HENRY VAN DE VELDE ABSTRACT PLANTS.] for the time being away from the design of practical life …. While researchers generally date its beginnings to the 1890s. in the US. and was practiced by artists such as Henry van de Velde. which. second. OTTERLO CARLO BUGATTI CHAIR. 1893 MIXED MEDIA RIJKSMUSEUM KRÖLLER-MÜLLER. for it is based solely on a small number of superficial decorative elements. as two sides of one and the same coin. even in the case of subject matter with an unavoidably object-like quality. he enthusiastically stated.indd Abs8:17 19.11 A minority of scholars sees the formal contrast just described as arising genetically from Art Nouveau. Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Later chapters will attempt to show why I share this view. While insurmountable obstacles kept them [the cultural pioneers. and third. Easton believed. Peter Behrens. “THRONE” CHAIR HEIGHT: 154. so to speak. it was there that the profound transformation from old to new human being first manifested itself. AND “THRONE” CHAIR.07.9 In the field of painting. and painting. Art Nouveau had reached its conclusion. at the end of the nineteenth century. in extreme cases. which. Adolf Loos. and others. in the dictates of the line. sculpture. Following upon floral Art Nouveau. for now began a radically “ornament-free” and technical design. 52/53 and 168ff. 17 Laird M. the ornamental principle is suffused by symmetrically arranged and frieze-like sequences. TABLE HEIGHT: 76.5 CM. thus prompting its imminent demise. right) had been considered incunabula of the new style. Henry Wilson’s design for the Ladbroke Grove Free Library in London in 1890–91 has been described by several architectural historians as the earliest example of the new style—of Art Nouveau—in Europe.). These consist. deemed the cooperation between “high” and “applied” art as a gain for the latter: Now. led to organic or zoomorphic “growths” as in the work of Antoni Gaudí (compare pp. W. led to the German Bauhaus or. in art the adaptation to the new feeling for life met with the weakest resistance.5 CM SOTHEBY’S.5 CM. in the rejection of the spatial illusionism that was an essential formal tool of the academic art of the nineteenth century. the amount of avant-garde power one attributes to the new style—and which kind of power—is a function of what one discursively subsumes under it or “expects” from it. too. experiments conducted with ornamental abstraction in the style of Henry van de Velde’s image Abstract Plants (Abstrakte Pflanzenkomposition) of 1893 (fig.Harry Graf Kessler. For this reason. via Otto Wagner. and sees this matrix as remaining in effect at least into the years of the First World War.

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to find a buyer. a cunning entrepreneur. too. carpets. ‘A labyrinth of brightly colored. It represents the final attempted foray of an art besieged in its ivory tower by technology. which “are both house and street.indd Abs8:19 19. the Italian minister of education and cultural affairs Nunzio Nasi acclaimed the new style as an art that would be democratic..”13 In Art Nouveau.” of course. he saw the arcades—which had been built in the French metropolis in the decades after 1822 but by the time of his writing had already disappeared or become nostalgic enclaves in the cityscape—as “quintessential forms” of the Modern. developed into places of pleasure and strolling. which presented the most complete exhibition of Art Nouveau worldwide.”14 one elegant store followed the next under muted light from above. and the mass of people in motion. nevertheless. 1902–07 PESARO 4541_final_rl_final Bilder. in the evening. furniture and fashion. and in reality. In this intermediary state … it appears as a Bohemian. They find their expression in the mediumistic language of lines.’”15 Like the boulevards. glittering arcades like a collection of rainbow bridges in an ocean of light. opened his department store in London’s West End in 1875. On both sides of these passageways and connecting corridors. cutting through entire quarters of the city—as shopping centers of industrial luxury and as objects of longing for sophisticated consumer desire. which he entitled “Paris. nor the strolling. to the Arcades Project. established art carried out a futile rearguard action. And this at a time when. in artificial light: first gas then later electric.” Benjamin worked on this philosophy of the history of the nineteenth century from 1927 until his death in 1940. “In the person of the flâneur. a final attempt to ennoble the true substrata of modernity: technology and commerce. it was never completed. intelligence takes to the market. which also makes clear why in Italy the new style was generally referred to as “lo Stile Liberty” after the Art Nouveau department store Liberty in London.11 12:13 . Benjamin inserted the sentence about Art Nouveau into the “exposé. The arcades developed their greatest “radiance. Nineteenth-century tourists’ travel guides to Paris extolled these passageways—covered by iron and glass constructions and paneled in marble. Individuality is its theory. the brilliance of the commodities. completed in 1902.].07. in addition to its technological achievements. Among the designers was the Christopher Dresser mentioned above. neither the arcades with their offerings of luxury goods. At night.” or exposition. for example.In his opening address at the Turin exhibition in 1902. nor 19 GIUSEPPE BREGA VILLINO RUGGERI. but rather a design strategy aimed at exquisite products with a restrainedly modernist appearance. The interpretation of Art Nouveau in Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project stands in only apparent contradiction to the “commodities fetishism” of the “stile Liberty. tin. and decorative objects..” Like the art of Art Nouveau. vegetative nature. Arthur Lasenby Liberty. for Benjamin. It mobilizes all the reserves of inwardness. what “was fascinating was the fabric of the brilliance of the light. embroidery.12 The emotionalism of his choice of words scarcely conceals the mercantile essence of the statement. in the blossom as the symbol of naked. the arcades. Art Nouveau makes its appearance in this work as a paradigmatic conflict phenomenon of modernity: “The transfiguration of the solitary soul seems to be its goal. are indeed akin to atavistic mannerisms. “The Liberty style” availed itself of no single design norm. Liberty products were soon available worldwide: textiles. A completely fairy-tale world. in addition to goods imported from the Near and Far East. he sold a collection of Orientalizing fabrics and wallpapers. the Capital of the Nineteenth Century. silver.. parallel to the Turin exhibition.. and at the same time to create new jobs. in order to elevate the aesthetic taste of the masses to a previously unknown height. intending to look at it. it was precisely this commercial character of modernity that was becoming increasingly irrefutable—seen against this background the decorative-fantastical flourishes on the Villa Ruggeri in Pesaro (figs opposite and bottom). there. opposing a technologically armed environment [.”16 Admittedly.

” Henry van de Velde. Moreover. Samuel Bing designed a pavilion that housed a large model home consisting of six furnished and decorated rooms. and. During this year. jewelry.11 12:13 . The Galerie Bing can be cited as a representative example. to mention one final name. a foodstuffs firm in Cologne Mühlheim.the artificial light are “products” of Art Nouveau. and in 1891 Henri de ToulouseLautrec hazarded the step from the graphic arts to advertising art with his earliest poster Moulin Rouge. 84 X 122 CM PRIVATE COLLECTION 4541_final_rl_final Bilder. was commissioned by Eberhard von Bodenhausen to design all the advertising materials (until 1900) for the recently founded Tropon plant. They demanded striking advertising posters rather than the provisional bills formerly posted on house walls and street corners. La Goulue (fig. And the presence of the new style was already obligatory at that same exposition universelle. Bing functioned not least as the Parisian representative for Louis Comfort Tiffany.18 Unsurprisingly. such as Berlin. for example.” 1891 COLOR LITHOGRAPH. Color lithography (chromolithography). The two had trained in Paris and worked together until 1899. starting in 1901. and glass from the product line of his American business partner. opposite). rather than an arcade—he opened a gallery and art dealership under the business name La Maison Bing. captured the market with the emergence of the lithographic printing press beginning in 1852. generally had no fear of contact with commerce and modern trade. This included a poster (incidentally the only one van de Velde ever made).07. 128ff. L’Art Nouveau. a native of Hamburg who became a French citizen in 1876. 1895—in the bustling Paris street Rue de Provence. medications.17 Frequently described in the literature as an impresario of Art Nouveau. the artistic poster also made its appearance in England in 1894. there was also an abundant offering of Japanese antiquities. The phenomena arose somewhat earlier and as they culminated in the late nineteenth century. Lucian Bernhard (actually Emil Kahn) emerged as the “creator of the modern Sachplakat. The role played by the design of advertising media in the entire “Stilkunst” or “style art” of around 1900 is sufficient evidence of this. revolutionizing poster design in the process and anticipating many aspects of Art Nouveau. where. On December 26. 20 HENRI DE TOULOUSE-LAUTREC POSTER. nightclubs.”19 Aesthetically sophisticated advertising was not infrequently reproduced in the art magazines of the time and thus additionally “ennobled. textiles.indd Abs8:20 19. was an expert in East Asian art. in Bing’s gallery the well-heeled public open to the avantgarde could buy modern bronzes and images by the Nabis (see p. they characterized the cultural cocktail of the Belle Époque and the fin de siècle in all their nuances of taste. at least the representatives of the applied arts. Advertising kiosks had been in existence since 1855. Under the influence of Toulouse-Lautrec and Jules Chéret (on the latter. But it was the Brothers Beggarstaff (a self-ironic reference to their limited income)—the Scotsman James Pryde and the London painter and woodcut artist Sir William Nicholson—who brought the Art Nouveau poster to its high point in England. “MOULIN ROUGE. who in turn represented Bing’s business interests in New York. the art of the poster prospered not only in Paris and London but in all the large European cities. in keeping with sophisticated contemporary taste. Dudley Hardy designed the poster for the operetta A Gaiety Girl for the Prince of Wales Theatre. or object poster. it was hoped that “courting” the visitors expected at the 1900 Paris world’s fair would boost sales of the products on display. Improved printing techniques offered new design possibilities. patented in 1837. see p. Siegfried Bing. Surrounded by noble design. LA GOULUE. 95). The artistically refined poster pitched anything and everything: bicycles. THE MATTER OF ADVERTISING Art Nouveau artists. for example. But Art Nouveau (at least a good part of it) readily embraced these options. And with this he created the French catchphrase for those works of art that distanced themselves from the established taste of the salons and the bourgeoisie.) as well as ceramics.

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in L’ Art Décoratif. So.. The poster of 1898 (fig. c. Its abstract ornamentation.21 The fact that this was so easily possible. the poster was published in reduced size as a color lithograph in Pan. Visual motifs from the Munich painter Franz von Stuck were frequently quoted in the German advertising of the early nineteenth century. was seen as positively revolutionary.brochures. are being usurped by the manufacturers’ need for advertising. in October of 1898. The baron of industry today pays better and more easily than court. according to a biting remark by Meier-Graefe. labels. typographical tension between dynamism and geometry. or art dealer.”22 A certain awkwardness inherent within Stuck’s combinations of naturalistic and symbolic elements cannot be disregarded. advertising sheets. took on the job of printed propaganda. of individual expression and matter-of-fact information.20 Because of its artistic value. Bodenhausen’s friend. but it also appeared in the periodicals Dekorative Kunst and.indd Abs8:23 19.. For the fine arts . Hauer conversely saw the danger that the modern world of commodities and advertising could degrade genuine artistic value into trivial commercialized formulas. and folding boxes. edited by Karl Kraus: “… I am very inclined to see the artistic poster as far more pernicious and sinister than the non-artistic one. was due to the fact that Stuck’s sphinxes looked “like waitresses at the Munich Hofbrauhaus. the painter draws up posters. the most luxurious German art magazine of the time.” 1898 COLOR LITHOGRAPH ON PAPER CALMANN & KING. “TROPON. one of Art Nouveau’s “Promethian” central concerns—the aestheticization of innovative technologies—yielded an exemplary result. and picture postcards …”23 Whereas Benjamin reproached the visual arts for playing the sorcerer’s apprentice who tries to instrumentalize the “broom” of modern means of production but is unable to do so.11 12:13 . LONDON LOUIS COMFORT TIFFANY TIFFANY STUDIOS TEN-LIGHT LILY TABLE LAMP. The fine artists. a tooth and mouth care product produced by the Lingner firm. copiously instrumentalized Stuck’s mythical worlds for its advertisements in the magazine Die Jugend.. 1900 PRIVATE COLLECTION 4541_final_rl_final Bilder. opposite) received special attention. But more worthy of consideration in our context is a statement concerning posters and advertising made by Karl Hauer in 1907 in the Fackel. noble. of whom there are far too many today and who all want to live. 23 THE NEW AESTHETIC OF LIGHT In its symbiosis with electric lighting. church. together with Julius Meier-Graefe. HENRY VAN DE VELDE POSTER. Van de Velde’s poster was unanimously acclaimed a highpoint in the history of the medium. The industrial product Odol.07. Harry Graf Kessler. and the symbiosis of artistic aspiration and industrial promotion. earn faster and better by designing advertising materials than by creating mature works of art.

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23). the author of the first. Their aim—typical of the time—of reforming the “aura” of an interior by means of light and the transparency of glass as a material. thought about the question of how the clothing of the inhabitants could be matched to the interiors he had designed.24 The “new” light of the light bulb demanded new lighting fixtures. When Tiffany sent his window The Four Seasons to the world’s fair in Paris in 1900. Crit- ics extolled the glass landscape scenes in the highest tones. p. An additional goal was filling the aesthetically unsatisfying emptiness of the window with the help of colored light. together with colleagues. had organized the exhibition on the occasion of the German Dressmakers’ Show in the Krefeld Stadthalle. and soon denser and lighter places appear in the mass. Today the segments are part of the holdings of the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum (figs opposite and bottom). Tiffany later disassembled the window into four parts and in 1905 had it built into his country estate Laurelton Hall on Long Island. 1898. has been taken from them. no. harmonized within itself. The window met with the same hymnic resonance at the Pan-American Exhibition in Buffalo in 1901 and the International Applied Arts exhibition in Turin in 1902.11 12:13 . the first central electric stations in London and New York went into operation in 1882.” The speech. explained that for aesthetic reasons it could be appropriate to soften the lighting to a gentle yellow glow by decorating the lampshades accordingly. Friedrich Deneken. a trailblazer in so many areas. to mute the daylight penetrating intrusively from the street into the private sphere. had designed after English and Scandinavian models. their irregular fracture sites generate various plays of light.25 Tiffany glass was also used for windows. these fabulously colored glass fluxes—which shimmer in all the colors of the spectrum and give the most delicate nuances of color— obtain a wavy and irregular surface so that they permit the light to penetrate to different degrees. which around 1900 still dictated the body-deforming silhouette of wasp waist and protruding bustle. The reform dress countered this style with a loosely falling cut and dispensed with the lace-up corset. in order to let the interior function as a whole.indd Abs8:25 19. 1902). above all the Tiffany company (fig. lead-mounted faeries on the border between banal exterior world and auratic inner world. Art Nouveau was ready to assist. and of setting luminous accents within that interior. too—and this meant primarily women’s fashion—captured the attention of Art Nouveau artists around 1900.” c. he retroactively (and also euphemistically) appraised his programmatic speech of August 1900 about an “ideal” (meaning timeless) clothing as the “first fundamental encounter between qualified representatives of the industrial arts and an artist. “light-dramaturgical treatise” (The Art of Illumination. first advocated by doctors in the 1880s and then later by the feminist movement as well. Other effects are obtained by striking pieces out of large blocks of glass. FLORIDA 4541_final_rl_final Bilder. WINTER PARK. entitled “Zur künstlerischen Hebung der Frauentracht” (On the Artistic Improvement of Women’s Costume). Henry van de Velde. p. in the words of Schivelbusch. LUXURY FASHION AND REFORM DRESS Fashion. 9). In the 1890s Tiffany implemented this principle to perfection by means of specific colorations and calculated irregularities in the material structure.” FROM THE STAINED-GLASS WINDOW “THE FOUR SEASONS. in a manner similar to muting the “raw” electric light.07. the Europeans immediately admired these opalescent. In his autobiography. 1899/1900 THE CHARLES HOSMER MORSE MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART. the decoration of the haute 25 LOUIS COMFORT TIFFANY “SPRING. But as solitary objects in collections and museums—which is how these lamps are usually experienced—they are robbed of their original context and thus their intended effect. The reform dress. 1. “By pushing the masses together before cooling.After Edison’s crucial improvements to the electric incandescent bulb in 1879.” (Zeitschrift für Beleuchtungswesen. was delivered during an exhibition of modern women’s dresses created after artists’ designs. Louis Bell. On display there were reform dresses that van de Velde. the director of the new local museum. functioned as a foil to French haute couture.

launched the fashion magazine Die Damenwelt. for his wife (fig. 1900 WHITE LINEN. sparkled with an incredible richness of invention.indd Abs8:26 19. photographer. in the Palazzo Pesaro degli Orfei (today the Museo Fortuny). c. especially the fashion creations of Paul Poiret. his fame rested above all 26 HUGO HÖPPENER.”28 Not in terms of beauty. these became an exquisite testimony to the Viennese fashion of the time. but chaste simplicity. which he developed for a production of Tristan and Isolde at the Scala in Milan in 1900. inventor. KNOWN AS FIDUS REFORM DRESS. with its ruffles. but certainly in terms of the fashion’s commercial usefulness. however. BERLIN EDUARD JOSEF WIMMER-WISGRILL HOUSECOAT MADE FROM A SILK BY DAGOBERT PECHE. Fortuny came from a renowned family of Spanish artists. and bows à la Paris. after designs by more than eighty artists. Even if the product originally had a certain appeal—like the dress designed around 1900 by Hugo Höppener. In 1917 Otto Lendecke. Even Gustav Klimt took part in designing the title pages. c. The style of dress.29 Only the dresses from the atelier of a designer like Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo could compete. and passionate devotee of Richard Wagner as well as an exclusive fashion designer. 1920/21 MAK-AUSTRIAN MUSEUM OF APPLIED ARTS/ CONTEMPORARY ART 4541_final_rl_final Bilder. if not to say lack of imagination. 189) must also be regarded as a dead end: Eduard Josef WimmerWisgrill (fig. bottom right) founded the fashion workshop from which Vienna now exerted a lasting influence on Paris. if not in the range of products then certainly in the exquisiteness of their appearance. the designs. He first garnered international attention for his stage sets. whether hand-printed or produced by machine. sequins. contrasted with the reform dress’s subdued decorative style drawn from Art Nouveau ornament. among others . was distinguished by a forced individuality. He received his artistic training in Paris with Giovanni Boldini. the tyranny of the frou-frou must form the basis of women’s clothing. He was a painter.11 12:13 . who had trained with Poiret. the productions of the Wiener Werkstätte (see p. The reform dress sought to encourage the woman’s natural freedom of movement as well as bring her outfit into harmony with the aesthetic appearance of the environment.07.30 Beginning around 1907. Nationalist groups that entered the fray compared the free fall of the sturdy fabric to the fluid garb worn by the high Gothic sculpture of Uta in the donor’s choir of Naumburg Cathedral.couture dress. it was for other reasons that the reform dress never caught on in Germany. was soon made use of polemically against the erotic refinement of Parisian haute couture. “Not the thrill. his parents moved to Venice in 1889. From 1899 his atelier was in Venice.26 Aside from the fact that the textile industry— which depended on changes in fashion—was not exactly enthusiastic about the “timeless” dress. Although a mere five issues appeared. BLACK EMBROIDERY COLLECTION HALLERISCHES FAMILIENARCHIV. bottom left)27—its “German” plainness. all the fabrics were produced in their own workshops. known as Fidus. complete with elaborate projection effects.

They were celebrated in writing by Gabriele D’Annunzio and Marcel Proust. due to their timeless elegance.07. Denis (see p. Fortuny essentially retained this type—an overwhelmingly beautiful reform dress. which. LEATHER HISTORISCHES MUSEUM DER STADT WIEN. upon the basic form of the ancient Greek chiton. 1920 SILK KUNSTGEWERBEMUSEUM. like so many Hollywood starlets interested in art.) at several of their dance performances. so that it is scarcely possible to date them. MARIANO FORTUNY Y MADRAZO “DELPHOS GOWN. and often combined with a tunic or wrap. The greatest success was enjoyed by his Delphos gowns (fig. 93 ff.11 12:13 . These dresses and fabrics cannot without reservation be classified as Art Nouveau products. as the reference to Delphi in their name implies. and worn by Isadora Duncan and Ruth St. to have herself photographed in an outrageously expensive Delphos robe from the Atelier Fortuny. were intended exclusively to appeal to the sure sense of taste of women clients from European and American high society.” c.on his designs for women’s dresses. and yet they are close to its ideal of beauty. c. they drew. right)—made of precious silk. as it were—unchanged. and consequently their immense price.indd Abs8:27 19. caressing the body in a free fall of fine pleats. STAATLICHE MUSEEN ZU BERLIN FOLLOWING PAGES: WIENER WERKSTÄTTE PAIR OF LADIES‘ SHOES. 122f. VIENNA 4541_final_rl_final Bilder. Moreover they were splendidly colored and printed with Oriental or Renaissance ornament in the style of artists like William Morris (compare figs p. their fine fabrics. 1914 COLORED SILK REP.). They remained cult objects for decades and it was de rigueur for someone like Peggy Guggenheim.

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He begins his reflections with a consideration of the living space of the mid-nineteenth century and its contrast to the world of business: “The private man who accommodates reality in the office demands from the interior that it sustain his illusions. according to Benjamin.” This would thus constitute evidence of Art Nouveau’s failure to produce an identity of art and life. in Art Nouveau. bearing the discourse of the avant-garde in mind. In contrast to this. “high art” futilely slaves away at the essential conditions of a new era. that inward transfiguration of the “solitary soul” mentioned above. Walter Benjamin commented on this phenomenon as well. a “mobilization of inwardness”—the room turns out to be a “sanctuary of art” and consequently a signifier of its inhabitant.indd Abs8:30 19. evidence that it succeeded merely in conjuring up an illusory world of l’art pour l’art—art for art’s sake—and of self-satisfied aesthetic artificiality: for one final time in Western art.11 12:13 . … The phantasmagoria of the interior arises from this.07.“MOBILIZING INWARDNESS” OR THE BREAK WITH THE STATUS QUO Today the term avant-garde generally functions as a synonym for processes that radically broke down or break down the status quo in art. Peter Bürger reserves the term for the specific early twentieth-century attitude that opposed the autonomy of art and art’s resulting lack of social consequences. the street. the daily life of the city. to the private man it represents the universe. As mentioned above. into the hermeticism of the interior. If we consider a further example in this light. transformed into color. they were not able to bring art into immediate contact with everyday reality and to functionalize their works as social works. namely the above-ground Paris Métro stations designed by Hector Guimard around 1900 30 4541_final_rl_final Bilder.31 Let us imagine once again. one of those interiors whose windows were filled with opalescent Tiffany glass.” Around the turn of the century. It would be confirmation of the claim made by Benjamin in the Arcades Project that. the “culmination of the interior” reached its conclusion. the place in which inwardness is “mobilized. Due to their colorful “lack of transparency” the gaze rebounds inwards. But the aspirations of the avantgarde movements of the time toward this goal were ultimately unsuccessful.32 Indeed—as we should not forget—the interior spaces enclosed by colored Art Nouveau windows did obstruct any perspective upon the outer world. the aura of the filtered daylight. the square. an attitude that sought to convert art into life praxis. shut out the banality of the external world.