Hohe Market, ca. 1920, Oskar Laske (Austrian, 1874-1951), Tempera paint on canvas, Bequest unknown, 0000.99.358.20.
After having studied architecture under Otto Wagner at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, Oskar Laske began to work independently as an architect in 1901. He traveled extensively throughout Europe, Africa, and the Middle East during the early-1900s recording his observations in watercolor, like the one pictured here. His images of cityscapes are often characterized by their cheerfulness and use of vibrant color to tell the narrative. Hohe Market captures Laske’s imaginative style through the distorted perspective, attention to the architectural details of the background and abstracted figures which dominate the lower left-hand corner. A member of the Hagenbund, a loose association of artists working independently from the popular Venetian Secessionist group, their aesthetic concerns became more reminiscent of the Neue Sachlichkeit or “New Objectivity” school that arose as a direct reaction to World War I and the German Expressionist movement of the 1920s.