In three chapters, the exhibition approaches Wagner’s legacy. In doing so it illustrates the architect’s rejection of the language of form found in Historicism as well as his influence on modern architecture and urban planning. The development of the metropolis in and around 1900 also made new building types necessary: In Vienna this included the modern residential and commercial buildings as well as department stores and hotels, which, as a result of Otto Wagner’s rejection of Historicism in favor of new possibilities for building, had to position themselves, and which represent a widely spread architectural type still today.
Earlier than others Wagner recognized the increasing importance of technology and engineering which manifested itself in new constructions and working materials. Consequently, he postulated a so-called “Nutzstil” [Functional style] whose forms should result from the materials, constructions, and functions. Through this break with the aesthetics of Historicism and prevailing architectural styles Wagner became a leading figure of Viennese Modernism. After 1900, under the strong influence of architects like Josef Hoffmann, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Josef Plečnik, Max Fabiani, or also István Medgyaszay, Jan Kotěra, and Pavel Janák, the Wagner School became a type of laboratory for style pluralism and individualistic approaches to style, aspects which were once again topical in Post-Modernism.
The exhibition is accompanied by the publication POST-OTTO WAGNER: From the Postal Savings Bank to Post-Modernism by Sebastian Hackenschmidt, Iris Meder, and Ákos Moravánszky, edited by Christoph Thun-Hohenstein and Sebastian Hackenschmidt. German/English, ca. 300 pages with numerous color illustrations. MAK/Birkhäuser Verlag, Vienna 2018. Available as of the end of June at the MAK Design Shop and at MAKdesignshop.at.
Sebastian Hackenschmidt, Curator, MAK Furniture and Woodwork Collection
Iris Meder, Architectural historian and freelance curator
Ákos Moravánszky, Professor emer. of architectural theory, ETH Zurich
Every Sat, 2 p.m.
Tue, 5.6.2018, 6 p.m.
Curator Sebastian Hackenschmidt in conversation with Ákos Moravánsky, expert advisor of the exhibition
Tue, 11.9.2018, 6 p.m.
Curator Sebastian Hackenschmidt in conversation with Claudia Cavallar, exhibition design