From: Neue Galerie Limited Edition: 5 Exhibition: Postcards of the Wiener Werkstätte: Selections from the Leonard A. Lauder Collection
Franz Xaver Messerschmidt 1736-1783: From Neoclassicism to Expressionism Material: Printed vinyl Dimensions: 35" x 96" (88.9cm x 243.84cm)
Hanging Hardware Included
Swap out your wall art with your moods. This banner from the Neue Galerie promoted two different exhibitions, Postcards of the Wiener Werkstatte and Franz Xaver Messerschmidt. If your space needs manly vibes, display the Messerschmidt side, and when you want to set a more refined stage reminiscent of 19th century Vienna, flip the banner to reveal Fashion by Maria Likarz-Strauss.
Postcards of the Wiener Werkstätte
Long before Twitter, postcards were the cheapest, fastest way to send a brief message in 19th century Austria, where postcards were invented (1869). The Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshop), founded by architect Josef Hoffman and painter Koloman Moser to make artistry and craftsmanship more accessible, gave postcards the boost they needed to become an artistic medium all of their own. In 1907, the Wiener Werkstätte began publishing a series of numbered postcards. These compact masterpieces covered a wide variety of subjects from the World’s Fair and aviation history to avant-garde photography and fashion.
A very profitable arm of the Wiener Werkstätte was its fashion department. Postcard 557 depicts popular Viennese fashion of the day as envisioned by Maria Likarz-Strauss. It is featured on the front of the banner along with the exhibition’s title and dates, “Selections from the Leonard A. Lauder Collection,” and the Neue Galerie logo. More than 1,000 postcards were produced by the Wiener Werkstätte from 1903 to 1919, and roughly half of them were included in this exhibition.
Franz Xaver Messerschmidt 1736-1783: From Neoclassicism to Expressionism
While Franz Xaver Messerschmidt was first discovered in Vienna for his neoclassical, Baroque sculpture, he is best known for his later work, the so-called “character heads.” These sculptures made from lead, tin alloys and alabaster (all softer materials than bronze or marble) allowed Messerschmidt to execute obsessive details. Thought-provoking and disturbing, the heads invoke a tension between detail and abstraction. The artist apparently pinched his body and contorted his face while looking in the mirror to fuel his imagination as he sculpted these frozen expressions.
A Strong Man (1771-1783) was one of the 69 heads created during this period, of which some 40 survived the centuries and were included in the exhibition. This head is featured on the back side of the banner along with the exhibition’s title, dates and Neue Galerie logo.
This banner was displayed around New York between September 16, 2010 and January 17, 2011. After closing at the Neue, the Messerschmidt exhibition traveled to the Louvre (January 26 to April 25, 2011).