At the Studio and in the Workshop

Frederick Kiesler as Master of Self-Representation

At the Studio and in the Workshop











Austrian Frederick and Lillian Kiesler Private Foundation

Mariahilfer Strasse 1b
1060 Vienna

Google Maps

The estate of the Austro-American architect, set designer and designer Friedrich Kiesler (1890–1965) contains more than 5,000 photographs. Portrait photographs are particularly important in this collection. Whether at the drawing board, foundry or workshop, Friedrich Kiesler was a master of (self-)representation. The exhibition shows Kiesler at work: with assistants or craftsmen, alone and concentrating on a design, or in an exuberant atmosphere in his studio, jokingly conducting his employees. Kiesler turned his studio into a stage. The work process was recorded for the public, with seemingly random snapshots complementing elaborate stagings. On the one hand, these images tell us about Kiesler’s own perception of himself as an artist, while also explaining the process in which many projects developed.

That is particularly true of the work he did on the “Endless House” models in the winter of 1958/59. The many documentation photographs and their artistic merit appear to give the process of creation, the modeling with wire netting and cement, the same significance as the completed objects have.

The exhibition displays vintage prints by famous photographers, including Adelaide de Menil, Arnold Newman, Hans Namuth and Irving Penn, who recorded the artist while he worked.