Wien, Prater Riesenrad [Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel]. Emma Bormann, 1887–1974 Austrian.
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Wien, Prater Riesenrad [Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel]

c1919. Woodcut, titled, annotated “Orig. holzschnitt [woodcut]” and signed in pencil below image, 22 x 21.8cm. Slight stain to upper centre, minor crease to lower left corner, trimmed margins.

The Vienna Giant Ferris wheel, 64.75-metre (212 ft) tall, stands at the entrance of the Prater amusement park in Leopoldstadt. It was designed by British engineers Harry Hitchins and Hubert Cecil Booth and constructed in 1897 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Emperor Franz Josef I. It was one of the earliest Ferris wheels ever built and was the world’s tallest extant Ferris wheel from 1920 to 1985.

Vienna-born artist Emma Bormann initially studied at the University of Vienna, receiving a doctorate in prehistory in 1917. While at university she also took classes in graphic art, focusing on etching and lithography. She went to Munich in 1917 and became an art teacher and began making woodcuts. Self-taught, she developed a “unique style that blended expressionism and impressionism and combined respect for traditional woodcut craft with a more modern sensibility.” She had her first solo exhibition at the Kunstlerhaus, Vienna in 1920. In 1924 she married Eugen Milch, a physician and artist, who went to China on a medical mission. Eventually Bormann and their two daughters joined him and experienced considerable hardship during the war years. Despite this, she continued her artistic activity and had a solo exhibition in 1947 at the Smithsonian, where the graphic arts curator stated “Dr Bormann-Milch is unquestionably one of the outstanding woodcutters of our time. Aside from her phenomenal skill in suggesting tone and atmosphere in this intractable medium, the artist possesses a certain heroic and monumental quality of design.” After 1950 she travelled widely, and her work was exhibited frequently during her lifetime. Bormann did not date her prints. Numerous international institutions hold her work, including the Albertina; British Museum; V&A; Metropolitan Museum of Art; National Gallery of Victoria. Ref: Danish Peace Academy; British Museum; Wiki.

Item #CL202-27

Price (AUD): $1,150.00  other currencies

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