Josef Hoffmann, ‘Secessionist lamp table, Austria’, Rago

Signature: Unmarked

Private Collection

About Josef Hoffmann

Josef Hoffman’s oeuvre embodies the seismic aesthetic and philosophical shifts that defined avant-garde art and design at the turn of the 19th century. He was a founding member of the Vienna Secession, an organization of artists and designers who sought to breakaway from rigid historical precedents, and later, the Wiener Werkstätte, a workshop dedicated to the production of craftwork of everyday objects including ceramics, textiles, and furniture. Hoffman was integral to defining Western applied arts during this period. The Stoclet Palace (1905–11), Hoffman’s masterpiece, embodies the artistic tension of this era and reveals the architect’s prescience; the mansion’s decorative details recall the fluid stylization of Art Nouveau, while the stark exterior walls—sheets of white marble edged in gilded metal—anticipate the austere planes and strict geometry of the International Style.

Austrian, 1870-1956, Brtnice, Czech Republic, based in Vienna, Austria