Luxury Design, Past & Present
Until 1925 Franz Hagenauer attended the sculpture class of Professor Anton Hanak at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts, who attested him "(...) an extraordinary creative gift in the field of metal sculpture". He soon proved his artistic talent and modern sense of form with his heads and sculptures made of beaten metal. The design of the head with enamel eyes goes back to this early period, at the beginning of the 1930s.
The woman's head with its reduced shapes shows Hagenauer's characteristic features of a timelessly stylized formal language. Enamelled eyes are a very rarely used design element at the Werkstätte Hagenauer. Here, they accentuate the already striking eye area and enchant the observer with their intensity. In contrast, eyebrows and nose are drawn finely into the metal and, together with the stylized curls, soften the austerity of the ovoid head.
The even hammer stroke on the surface of the woman's face enlivens the mask-like features of the sculpture and testifies to the masterly work in the Hagenauer workshop.
Bib.: comp. Olga Kronsteiner, Monika Wenzl-Bachmeier (ed.), „Hagenauer – Viennese Modernism and New Realism “, exhibition catalogue, Vienna, 2011, p. 48-49