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Jugendstil Collage

Jugendstil

Started: 1896

Ended: 1914

Jugendstil Timeline

Quotes

"to simply see, to simply absorb ourselves in color..."
Albert Endell
"Forms and colors release in us a particular feeling effect without any mediation. We must only learn to allow them to become conscious in ourselves."
Albert Endell
"Most of the works were free, musically rhythmical fantasies, full of vibrations, curves, verticals, horizontals and spirals...[And] the ideas did not originate in nature alone, but in everything that vibrates in all rhythm and all reverberations such as can be found everywhere - in waves, in clouds of feathers, in the circadian and annual cycles, in the sound of the wind in the trees, in every waterfall, every geyser, every lane, every marsh, every dance, every music"
Hermann Obrist
"An undreamed-of wealth of possibilities arise for an eye that has learned to see the sculptural forms in nature, which has learned to enlarge the compact power of buds, the roundness and ribs of seeds from their microscopic smallness to meter-high forms. All forms of tactile feeling, the feeling of smoothness, of coarseness, of hardness, of softness, of elasticity, of rigidity, of flexibility, of swollenness, of leanness, of roundness, and of angularity are aroused by forms remodeled from nature, and sculptural architectural ornament awaits, like Sleeping Beauty, its resurrection. No: the human nude is not the beginning and end of sculpture."
Hermann Obrist
"Design is not about decorating functional forms - it is about creating forms that accord with the character of the object and that show new technologies to advantage."
Peter Behrens
"I take my work as an artist as general as possible: I want to paint a portrait but can also design a piece of furniture; I draw cartoons but also wallpapers, posters; I design stained glass windows but also occasionally a screen."
Hans Christiansen
"developing the style of furniture from the spirit of the machine"
Deutsche Werkst├Ątten catalogue for Richard Riemerschmid's furniture line
"There is no fixed boundary line between tool and machine."
Theodor Fischer

"We are on the threshold of not only the new style, but also the development of a completely new art. The art of applying forms of nothing insignificant, not representing anything, and not resembling anything."

August Endell

Synopsis

Partaking in the Art Nouveau trends elsewhere in Europe, Jugendstil in Germany revolutionized and popularized modern design and crafts at the turn of the 20th century. The term Jugendstil, meaning "Young Style," was derived from the magazine Die Jugend, and the style tended toward floral motifs, arabesques, and organically inspired lines and eventually moved toward abstraction and functionalism. Importantly, it emphasized workshops, where groups of designers worked with industrialists for mass production to disseminate products.

Jugendstil would become an important touchstone for Expressionists in Germany and Austria who were creating new visions of the modern subject and urban centers as well as later Bauhaus experiments in combining fine and applied arts.

Key Ideas

The dominant forms of Jugendstil furniture, architecture, and illustrations were organic shapes and lines that were at once simple and dynamic. It shared with the international Art Nouveau movement naturalistic floral motifs, but as the style evolved, the organic shapes contrasted with more abstract and geometric forms to create a more complex dynamism.
Many of the Jugendstil artists were well versed in multiple art forms, and they strove to create a gesamtkunstwerk, or total work of art. The idea of the gesamtkunstwerk evolved over the 19th century, and Jugendstil took its core aim - a desire to synthesize all of the arts - to create carefully designed environments that would be harmonious with human use.
While Jugendstil emphasized the individual imagination, it also strove to bring art and design to a wide audience. Setting up workshops across Germany, Jugendstil artists worked with industrial designers to create objects that could easily be mass produced.

Beginnings

Jugendstil Image

Munich and Hermann Obrist

Swiss-born artist Hermann Obrist launched Jugendstil in the mid-1890s in Munich, and the city soon became the early center of the movement that included August Endell, Bruno Paul, Bernhard Pankok, and Otto Eckmann. Growing up in Switzerland, Obrist first studied botany and history, but after several trips in 1886 through the countryside, he experienced a number of visions of "a strange, unknown city with towers and temple-like buildings...translucent and...perpetually in motion, disappearing and then reappearing." In his autobiography A Happy Life: A Biography of the Artist, Naturalist and Independent Spirit" (c. 1900), he wrote of his experiences in the third person, saying, "Nothing he saw was in any way reminiscent of the many styles he would later encounter on his travels. Making a clearer than ever mental note of what he had just seen, he hurriedly drew sketches which he still feasts on to this day; and a voice inside him called out to him for the first time and said: Leave your studies; go forth and picture this." As a result of his vision, he turned to sculpture and the applied arts in 1887. His early ceramics and furniture won awards at the 1889 Paris Exposition, and in the early 1890s following the sale of a model for a fountain, he moved to Florence, where he opened an embroidery and tapestry workshop with Berthe Ruchet, which he relocated to Munich in 1895.

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Jugendstil Overview Continues

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Cite this page

Content compiled and written by Rebecca Seiferle

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Movement Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Rebecca Seiferle
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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