Adolf Loos - Buy or sell works
10 December 1870, Brünn (Moravia) - 23 August 1933, Kalksburg (Austria)
Adolf Loos was one of the most famous Austrian architects of Viennese modernism. His best-known work is the Loos Haus on Michaelerplatz in Vienna.
Born in Brno to a sculptor in 1870, Loos studied architecture at Vienna’s Academy of Applied Arts and at Dresden’s Polytechnic University. He spent three years in the USA from 1893 onwards, where he earned a living working as a furniture designer and architect, along with other jobs.
In 1896, he made Vienna his new home, where he initially worked as an interior designer.
He ran a private construction school between 1912 and 1914, teaching pupils including Leopold Fischer.
Loos authored a series of articles for the Neue Freie Presse newspaper, in which he expressed his personal opinion on a wide range of subjects. In his most famous essay, “Ornament and Crime”, he explicitly speaks out against the use of ornamentation. By doing so, he turned his back on the construction principles of the Secession, and he only used high-quality materials in his works, both interior and exterior.
In 1909 Loos was commissioned to construct an office building for the company Goldman & Salatsch. It became known under the name “Loos House”, and is still regarded as the architect’s leading work. Even while it was being constructed the building attracted a good deal of criticism due to the minimalist design of the façade of the upper floor. This led to the building works being paused temporarily so that bronze window boxes could be affixed to the exterior wall.
Other well-known buildings by him include the American Bar in Vienna, better known as the “Loos Bar”.
Loos was Head Architect at Vienna’s Residential Office from 1920 to 1922. This period encompassed the planning of the Heuberg residential area, which came into being in 1923 in collaboration with Hugo Mayer. In addition, Loos was also well-known for his villas, for which he used an innovative planning concept.
He had a sizeable influence on other architects: Richard Neutra, Heinrich Kulka and Luigi Blau all followed his example.
He spent a long period of time in Paris in the 1920s, where he forged excellent connections within the art scene in the city. Loos was very socially active in Vienna, too, and had many good friends from the spheres of art and culture - one of whom was the painter Oskar Kokoschka. Loos was married several times, and was married to the photographer Claire Beck between 1929 and 1931.
In 1932 he had to be admitted to a sanatorium in Kalksburg due to a nervous condition, and died there the following year.
Works by Adolf Loos have enjoyed success at Dorotheum auctions for many years. On 1 December 2005, a table he designed in 1915 for the Haus Duschnitz in Vienna sold for € 96,000.