Vienna - Exhibition

Frederick Kiesler: Life Visions


15 Jun 201602 Oct 2016

Frederick Kiesler (1890–1965) not only fascinated his contemporary generation of artists and architects with his revolutionary, utopian ideas. The transdisciplinary contributions made by this Austrian-American artist, designer, architect, set and exhibition designer continue to influence the European and American avant-garde through today. Realized in cooperation with the Austrian Frederick and Lillian Kiesler Private Foundation, the MAK retrospective FREDERICK KIESLER: Life Visions (MAK Exhibition Hall, 15 June – 2 October 2016) illuminates this trend-setting visionary’s fascinatingly complex body of work, his out-of-the-box thinking, his theory of Correalism, which he used to thematize the relationship between artwork, human, and environment, as well as his activities as an architect and exhibition designer.

Following the sweeping retrospective JOSEF FRANK: Against Design, this reappraisal of Kiesler’s oeuvre is integral to the MAK’s efforts to take another look at the great visionaries of Viennese Modernism. Born in Chernivtsi, a multicultural city (then in Austria-Hungary, now in Ukraine), Kiesler began studying architecture and painting in 1908 at the University of Technology and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, but did not graduate. He celebrated his first big successes with theater and exhibition projects in Berlin, Vienna, and Paris. In 1926, in the hopes of being able to realize his visions, he traveled to New York, where he stayed for the rest of his life. The years he spent in Vienna surrounded by people like Otto Wagner, Josef Hoffmann, and Adolf Loos—and also to a significant degree, the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk—were key influences on all of his artistic and theoretical endeavors.

  • Frederick Kiesler, Exhibition view, MAKFrederick Kiesler, Exhibition view, MAK
  • Frederick Kiesler, Exhibition view, MAKFrederick Kiesler, Exhibition view, MAK

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