Erwin Puchinger was a brilliant Austrian painter, designer and graphic artist who rose to prominence in the heady artistic ferment of Fin-de-Siecle Vienna. He studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule des Osterreich (Austrian Art School of the Museum of Art and Industry) in Vienna and came of age in the heady years of the Viennese Secession (officially known as the Vereiningung Bildender Kunstler Osterreichs), and the Secession style influenced his work.

     With Puchinger’s genius for design he was in demand in the Jugendstil (Austrian and German Art Nouveau) era as an illustrator and graphic designer and he collaborated on landmark architectural interiors in Paris and London with his contemporary Otto Prutscher (1880-1949), the Vienna Werkstatte artist. He also worked abroad, and one of his major works was chosen for the Austrian Pavillion at the Paris World’s Fair in 1900; this large work hangs permanently in the Osterreichisches Museum fur angewandte Kunst Gegenwartskunst (the Austrian Museum of Applied Art, known as the MAK).

     Puchinger and his friends and contemporaries Josef Hoffmann (1870-1956), Kolomon Moser (1868-1918), Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) and Otto Prutscher sought to erase the boundaries between fine and decorative art and bring exceptional design to everyday objects. They believed in creating “Gesamtkunstwerk,” which translates as 'total or integrated artwork,' and Prutscher and Puchinger’s collaborations were important examples of this lofty goal. He was an important Professor at the Graphischen Lehr und Versuchsantalt in Wien (Graphic Studio and Research Institute of Vienna), where he trained many prominent Austrian artists and designers. Puchinger was also adept at the watercolor medium and painted many memorable landscapes during his time away from school and studio. His wife, Elfriede Puchinger-Hoffmann, was also an established painter and graphic designer. Erwin Puchinger’s paintings and graphic design is seldom on the market, and the collection reproduced on this website is probably the largest selection of his and Elfriede Puchinger-Hoffmann’s work ever offered for sale.

Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Morseburg. Not to be reproduced without express written permission.

     
     
       
     
         
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