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Wenzel Hablik

Portrait of Wenzel Hablik

The architect of invisible cities

When he was 6, Wenzel Hablik stared deep into a crystal he’d discovered in his hometown of Brüx — inside the crystal he saw “magical castles and mountains” that would haunt the artwork, architecture, and design of this most polymath of Czech artists.

Raised in his fathers cabinetry shop, Wenzel became a carpenter by age 12 — the beginning of an unrelentingly creative life. After his apprenticeship Wenzel painted proclain, worked as a draftsman for an architect, and studied painting at the Vienna Kunstgewerbeschule and the Prague Academy of Arts. At age 25, Wenzel made a solo ascent of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps. Ascending though the clouds toward the glittering peak was an experience that would shape his 1909 collection Creative Forces — a folio of twenty etchings detailing crystalline structures perched in the snowy heights of the Alps.

The heavenly crystalline would haunt Hablik’s work, appearing in paintings, drawings, and more subtly in his interior design work. In 1907 Hablik met Richard Biel — a timber merchant who would become his mentor and patron. Through Biel, Wenzel Hablik expanded his work dramatically, evolving from artist to designer — over the next ten years he would create textiles, furniture, jewelry, wallpaper, and combine these physical elements into refracted colorful interior spaces — rooms that feel like living inside the fragmented light of a crystal.

Reed Enger, "Wenzel Hablik, The architect of invisible cities," in Obelisk Art History, Published September 07, 2015; last modified May 21, 2018, http://arthistoryproject.com/artists/wenzel-hablik/.

Read More
Figure Ashore, Wenzel Hablik

Figure Ashore

1904-1907
Joys of Life, Wenzel Hablik

Joys of Life

1904-1907
Starry Sky, Attempt, Wenzel Hablik

Starry Sky, Attempt

1909
Waves - Creative Force, Wenzel Hablik

Waves - Creative Force

1909
Interior of a Display Temple, Wenzel Hablik

Interior of a Display Temple

1914
Design for an Exhibition Building, Wenzel Hablik

Design for an Exhibition Building

1919

Come and join the struggle against all things negative and corrupting.

Delight in Existence!

1920
1 Mark Notgeld, Wenzel Hablik

1 Mark Notgeld

1921
1 Mark Notgeld: Not Kennt, Wenzel Hablik

1 Mark Notgeld: Not Kennt

1921
20 Mark Notgeld, Wenzel Hablik

20 Mark Notgeld

1921
Cathedral Interior, Wenzel Hablik

Cathedral Interior

1921
Exhibition Space Wallpapers, Wenzel Hablik

Exhibition Space Wallpapers

1921
Utopian Buildings, Wenzel Hablik

Utopian Buildings

1922
Cantilever Cupola with Five Hilltops, Wenzel Hablik

Cantilever Cupola with Five Hilltops

1924
Design for a Great Hall, Wenzel Hablik

Design for a Great Hall

1924

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