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Höfinger, Oskar

Oskar Höfinger Folie Bergere Silber


1935 Golling/Lower Austria – 2022 Vienna

“Folie Bergère”
design 1960, execution 2007
“Oskar Höfinger 1960-07”
nickel-plated bronze, no. 1/7
67¾ in

The design for the sensually elegant sculpture “Folie Bergère” was developed back in 1960, i. e. while Oskar Höfinger was still studying in Fritz Wotruba’s masterclass at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. This is without a doubt a major work of this early phase of his oeuvre, which was characterized by the so-called “Crystalline Figures”. The designs of this stage of his creation are distinguished by multi-faceted, prismatically fragmented surfaces and an ever-shifting, dynamic painting made of light and shadows.

The inspiration for the figure at hand, the famous variety theater “Folies Bergère”, became the center of Parisian nightlife in the 1920s and 30s with the performances by the great Josephine Baker. It was not only the beautiful and thrillingly confident women of the cabaret that fired Oskar Höfinger’s imagination, but also the monumental copper-coated relief of the theater’s art deco facade with the figure of a female dancer dissolved in various ornamental shapes. The Paris of the golden 20s with its unique joie-de-vivre gave Oskar Höfinger the inspirational push to create this graceful sculpture that radiates seductive femininity. Hitherto only known in bronze, in 2007 Höfinger created this wonderful version with a gleaming silver surface (nickel-plated bronze). This sculpture is the first of this series and bears the works number 1.

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