At Backhausen we always strive to work together with the creative spirits of the avantgarde – whether historic greats such as Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser or modern masters like Arthur Arbesser and Stefan Sagmeister.
This gives our high-quality fabrics their unique, trend-setting flair, which is preserved in the Backhausen Design Archive – the largest archive in the world for patterns and designs from the era of the Wiener Werkstätte, as well as for contemporary works from today’s avantgarde elite.
(1841 VIENNA – 1918 EBD.)
Otto Wagner is the great Master of the Vienna Modern. His richly ornamented, but strictly geometrically structured Art Nouveau buildings and constructions dominated Vienna in the “Belle Epoque” and are still fascinating in their elegance even today. He conveyed his vision of modern shape and design to a whole generation of young artists and architects in his role as Professor for Architecture at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. Not only have his monumental constructions survived the passing of the decades, but an original carpet designed by Otto Wagner and made by Johann Backhausen & Söhne can be found at the Österreichische Postsparkasse, the post office bank that is one of his seminal works.
(1868 VIENNA – 1918 EBD.)
Moser was and is one of the best – known artists from the turn of the century. While his paintings were influenced by the Impressionist Movement, his later works were influenced heavily by Ferdinand Hodler. Furthermore, the painter, graphic designer and artisan Koloman (Kolo) Moser created numerous pattern designs for Backhausen. These include the well-known pattern“Orakelblume”, designed from a Japanese stencil, Abendfriede, Blütenerwachen, Föhn, Schwämme and diverse carpets.
(1870 BRTNICE -1956 VIENNA)
Josef Hofmann was founder of the Vienna Secession (1897) and played a key role in the development of the modern conception of art. Hoffmann founded the Wiener Werkstätte in 1903 together with Koloman Moser and Fritz Wärndorfer, a community modelled on similar English and Scottish groups that broke the old art conventions. The building of the sanatorium at Purkersdorf in Vienna (1904) was their first major collective work, with further collaborations such as the Cabaret Fledermaus and Palais Stoclet following. Backhausen was contracted to produce fabrics and carpets for these projects, as well as others.
(1880 VIENNA – 1949 EBD.)
Prutscher designed both carpets and interior textiles for Backhausen. He had already created objects that were set to meet “all the requirements demanded by the art industry” in his early years as a designer. The most important exhibitions were at the Vienna Secession in 1902 and the Wiener Kunstschau in 1908. The “Gustav Klimt und die Kunstschau 1908” exhibition at the Austrian Gallery Belvedere in 2008 dedicated an entire room to Prutscher. His works are found at the Museum of Applied Arts Vienna, the Leopold Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, for example.
(* 1957 IN VIENNA)
Artist Gilbert Bretterbauer insisted on the artisanal aura of an exuberant, hyperpersonal space concept at the “Wiener Musterzimmer” exhibition, held at the Orangerie of the Vienna Belvedere in 2009/2010 and in cooperation with Backhausen, among other partners. A central theme was a discussion about ornaments and interior design: his hand-tufted carpet with its different heights of pile fills the room with explosive colours. The walls served as carriers for unusual “textile works of art” Backhausen created the fabrics “Rubingitter” and “Supraspirit” as part of this collaboration.
(*1959 IN INNSBRUCK)
We do not have to go and look for Peter Kogler’s works, they will find us. The MUMOK (2008) and the Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb (2014) presented the complete oeuvre of the two-time Documenta participant in an extensive exhibition with more than 100 works from 1979 to the present. Kogler put the 3D Netz, the Ameise, the Gehirn and the Röhre into textile creations together with Backhausen. Additionally, both worked together to create a design for the MUMOK and a primary school in Baden.
(*1978 IN STERZING, ITALY)
The textile creation “Kap Orakel”, designed in cooperation with Backhausen, is most notably characterised by its symbolism. Designer Patrick Rampelotto uses scrapped trophies to create novel collage-like patterns which appear unusual at first glance, but then act as reminder of the works of Josef Hoffmann. Functionality merges with opulent aesthetics. Unlike with other “ready-mades,” he makes the item and its shape his own by using as much abstraction as possible.