A famous bronze sculptor and ceramicist of figurines in the
Art Deco period, the prolific and talented artist Josef Lorenzl
worked from the early part of the 20th Century and started his
career at a foundry in the Vienna Arsenal (a military storage
complex located in the south-eastern part of Vienna) where he
learned the techniques of bronze casting. Here Lorenzl designed
bronze and chryselephantine (a Greek word for precious metals /
bronze combined with ivory) figurines and also works in spelter.
Josef Lorenzl's signature style became slim dancers with long
legs and exuberant movement. Many of these are bronze "scarf
dancers" beautifully cold-painted in bright metallic lacquers
with the signature "Crejo” also appearing on some bronze
figurines when floral or geometric decoration has been painted
onto the cold-painted finish of the clothing (this applied
decoration usually has an advantageous effect on prices).
Examples of Lorenzl's figurines can be also be found mounted on
clocks, bookends and as lamps.
Because of the success of his bronze figurines Lorenzl was
approached by the firm of Goldscheider to design pottery
figurines for them, eventually working from a studio on the
company grounds (he also brought Stefan Dakon into the company). As with
his chryselephantine pieces, his ceramic works were in great
demand and became the embodiment of the Art Deco period. Famous
among these is "The Butterfly Girl" modeled after the famous
dancer Niddy Impekoven who worked in the 1920s. Many other
figurines were inspired by photographic models, dancers, cabaret
and film stars of the 1920s and 30s. Lorenzl also designed for
other ceramic firms such as Hertwig and Keramos.
Josef Lorenzl's beautiful Art Deco figurines are emblematic of the early 20th Century's embracing of dynamism, futurism, modernity and the testament to his design skills is that his Art Deco figurines are still decorating the homes of the 21st Century.Craig - 20th Century Decorative Arts