Ketterer Kunst Logo

Search Lots

The international auction house for buying and selling of
Koloman Moser

Biographies
Koloman Moser

*  1868 Wien
† 1918


Koloman Moser studied design and painting at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna from 1885 to 1892. In 1886 he also studied painting at the Allgemeine Malerschule. From 1893 to 1895 he studied graphic design at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna. Koloman Moser became a teacher there himself in 1899 and a professor in 1900. From 1895 Koloman Moser worked as a freelance graphic artist for several publishing houses, at first for Martin Gerlach and later for H. Bruckmann. Enormously versatile and prolific, Koloman Moser played an active role in the progressive art trends of his day. Kolomon Moser designed furniture, glass and metal objects and jewelry as well as leather goods, textiles, book bindings and children's toys. In 1897 Koloman Moser joined Josef Hoffmann, Otto Wagner, Adolf Loos, Joseph Maria Olbrich, and Gustav Klimt in founding the Viennese Secession, a group of artists who had split off in protest from the academic constraints imposed by the Künstlerhaus in Vienna. The Viennese Secession was modeled on the Berlin (1892) and Munich (1893) Secessions. Until 1903, the Viennese Secession published a journal, "Ver Sacrum", of which Koloman Moser was editor, although he also produced numerous works and designs for it. Together with the Klimt group Koloman Moser left the Viennese Secession in 1904 after disputes with other members. In 1903 Koloman Moser founded the Wiener Werkstätte with Josef Hoffmann and the backing of the banker Fritz Wärndorfer. Koloman Moser remained co-director of the Wiener Werkstätte with Hoffmann until 1907. The Wiener Werkstätte produced crafts objects from all related fields; the designers employed worked under very humane conditions that were exemplary for the time. The aim of the Wiener Werkstätte was to ensure that fine art and the decorative and applied arts were on an equal footing. Consequently, all objects produced by the Wiener Werkstätte bear not only the designer's mark but also that of the craftsman who executed the design. Great importance was attached to ensuring the highest quality standards of workmanship and materials. The works Koloman Moser produced for the Wiener Werkstätte are informed by a stringent geometry, a fundamental feature of his work as exemplified by his signature black-and-white grid pattern. Although sometimes complex in construction, his underlying designs are distinguished by great clarity. In addition to working for the Wiener Werkstätte, Koloman Moser also designed glass for Loetz, furniture for J. & J. Kohn, and textiles for Johann Backhausen & Söhne. After disagreements with Wärndorfer, Koloman Moser left the Wiener Werkstätte in 1908, subsequently concentrating more on painting.