This week I visited the National Gallery of Victoria for the wonderful “Vienna – Art and Design” exhibition. Luckily it wasn’t too crowded, so I was able to have a really close look at the exhibits, but I still wanted to be able to pore over them at my leisure, so I bought the exhibition catalogue.
This cutlery service, designed by Josef Hoffmann (for Fritz and Lili Warndorfer), is a great example of the things that really appealed to me – understated elegance and simplicity bestowed upon ordinary household objects. Blow is a Tea and Coffee service designed by Jutta Sika.
Many of the paintings in the exhibition were really lovely, but I was much more drawn to the design of everyday objects, because they relate directly to my degree in Industrial Design (which could be summed up loosely as the design of products and furniture – mostly). Anything that is useful and still manages to be elegant and proportionally pleasing, really makes my heart sing.
I was also very taken with the surface design works of Koloman Moser for textiles, and wallpapers. The one above is called “Silvanus”,
and this one is called “Arlette”, for use on silk. It was my favourite.
Lastly, this was a piece of furniture that I was, quite unexpectedly, really enchanted by; a writing desk designed by Dagobert Peche. This was at the end of the exhibition, and taken from a period where there was much more ornamentation and surface decoration. While the piece itself looks to me to be slightly unbalanced on the whole, the individual decorative elements are quite charming. They are very graphic representations of different vegetation. Looking at them closely gave me an urge to pick up a pencil and get sketching.
This exhibition is on at the Nation Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, until the 9th of October.
Have you been? What did you think?