Admired by contemporaries as an artistic “jack – of – all – trades”, Koloman Moser (1868 – 1918) is regarded today as one of the most important representatives of the Viennese Secession of around 1900. As a graphic artist and designer Moser was unparalleled in his artistic diversity, creating furniture, textiles, and objects – for the Wiener Werkstätte among others – that are icons of Modernism, as well as leaving behind an impressive oeuvre of paintings.
A group of progressive artists, including Koloman M oser, founded “The Association of Visual Artists of Austria, Secession” under the leadership of Gustav Klimt in 1897. Moser in particular is considered the outstanding graphic artist of the Secession, thanks to his design of posters, exhibition concepts, a nd of the journal Ver Sacrum. He was the ideal master for the formation of the Gesamtkunstwerk “Vienna circa 1900”, hardly surpassed in imagination and productivity. He applied his incredible virtuosity and inexhaustible fantasy to a variety of materials. In 1903 Moser founded, together with Josef Hoffmann and the industrialist Fritz Waerndorfer, the “Wiener Werkstätte” [Viennese Workshops]. The close cooperation between the designing artists and the master craftsmen allowed a completely new level of qualit y of to be attained in artisan craftwork. After 1907 Koloman Moser concentrated on painting once more. This publication presents exceptional examples of his art, drawn primarily from the Leopold Collection and situating them in a biographical and art histo rical context.