(Brno 1884 - Vienna 1957)
Composition in Mauve, Green, Orange and Yellow
345 x 334 mm. (13 5/8 x 13 1/8 in.)
In 1921 Pirchan moved to Berlin, where he worked as a scenographer at the State Theatre and oversaw numerous productions. He won a gold medal in the category of set design at the International Exposition in Barcelona in 1928, and in 1930 produced futuristic designs for a theatre in South America, a project about which little else is known. In 1932 Pirchan settled in Prague, working as the head of set design at the German Theatre. In 1936 he returned to Vienna, where he was to live and work until his death. He was appointed a professor at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts and served as director of the newly-established school of set design there, while providing set designs for productions at the Burgtheater and the State Opera.
Throughout his long and successful career Pirchan produced numerous designs for posters, advertisements, furniture, jewellery, arts and crafts objects and fabrics. In addition, he was a novelist and playwright, and published several books on art and artists, including one of the first biographies of Gustav Klimt. The full range of Pirchan’s oeuvre was only relatively recently brought to light in a retrospective exhibition held at the Museum Folkwang in Essen and the Leopold Museum in Vienna between 2019 and 2021, which established him as a leading figure of Central European Modernism. Much of the exhibition was based on an archival collection of his work that was recently rediscovered in a box in an attic in a house in Zurich.