Loffler, Bertold. (1874–1960)

Collection of Lithographs from "Die Fläche"

Vienna: Anton Schroll. 1910. First Edition of this Periodical: Band 2, Heft 1. Small folio, one fascicule. Approximately 12 x 8 inches. Sixteen plates in bright, full color lithography in four accordion-fold groupings of four pages each, printed on one side only. In publisher's original board portfolio with printed paper labels on both sides of the front board. Portfolio worn and slightly soiled, boards separating at the backstrip with some loss; spine, corners and edges chipped with slight loss, interior sheets with minor occasional edgewear and bumping, some toning or browning around the edges, else a very good example with plates bright and clean.

"'Die Fläche' (literally, 'The Surface'), produced in portfolio form, was formulated as a 'Musterbuch,' or pattern book, entirely composed of reproductions of artwork by artists associated with the Wiener Werkstätte intended for application on all "surfaces," including posters, books, wallpaper, textiles, stained glass, embroidery, etc. The designs are printed in full color via algraphy (aluminum plate lithography). Algraphy was a technological and artistic innovation that enabled the school to facilitate the use of lithography in a more practical way with aluminum plates instead of with cumbersome lithographic stones. The most famous contemporary publication to use this method was Die Fläche, using it for their first volume in 1903/04 by Felician Myrbach and this, the second, published by Bertold Löffler in 1910. 

The Wiener Werkstätte was begun in 1903 by Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser as a reaction against the more conservative Association of Austrian Artists at the Vienna Künstlerhaus. Inspired by contemporary European design as well as the arts as applied by William Morris, Hoffmann and Moser established the Wiener Werkstätte as a furthering of the Morris aesthetic, and Die Fläche was the result of their ambitions. 'Die Fläche,' like 'Ver Sacrum,' was conceived as an art object" [Kallir]. Complete sets are very difficult to find. (Kallir, Viennese Design and the Wiener Werstätte,p. 124.)