Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dagobert Peche

Dagobert Peche studied in Vienna between 1908 and 1911. Starting with mechanical engineering at the Technical Institute, he switched to the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, where he studied architecture. His formal language at first revealed Baroque and Rococo influences, but he was also interested in standardizing forms and the new possibilities afforded by industrial mass production of crafts objects. Dagobert Peche joined the Wiener Werkstätte in 1915. The Wiener Werkstätte had been founded in 1903 by Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser, and the banker Fritz Wärndorfer. As one of its most creative exponents, Peche designed some three thousand objects, including china, furniture, book bindings, jewelry, fashions, textiles, and even Christmas tree decorations.

Dagobert Peche's textiles stood in stark contrast to many of the bold, geometric prints from the Werstatte, his work being more rounded and eclectic. Many of his prints repeat in an offset, slanting motion and feature natural elements interpreted with decorative, curvy line work. His textiles work had an effect on the way Peche saw mass-produced ornament, as shown in his black and gold piece Cabinet in which he laid perfectly offset gold medallions on the face of the furniture piece, cutting of the repeat at the edges of the cabinet to create the illusion that the pattern might extend and repeat infinitely outwards. While Peche's work was greatly ornamental, he was intrigued by the phenomenon of repeated pattern.

Peche's patterns are recognized for their distinctive style that typically features the delicate representation of naturalistic forms, sometimes in large-scale repeats, with an emphasis on fine-line drawing.

Dagobert Peche, Cabinet, 1918

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