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2020 | Jacques & Jacqueline Groag

Jacques and Jacqueline Groag

 

Jacques Groag, architect and furniture designer, and Jacqueline Groag, textile and pattern designer, were two celebrated residents of the Isokon in the 1940s and early 1950s, yet due to split residence between three countries, which often did not communicate with each other in the 20th century, the tremendous scope of work of these second-wave Viennese Modernists has only recently become known.

 

Living World fabric for the Festival of Britain, designed by Jacqueline Groag

 

This exhibition covers their individual careers in Vienna and Czechoslovakia, their lives as Jewish émigrés to London, their collaborations, and the couple’s unique contributions in Britain to postwar exhibitions, monuments, furniture and textile design.

Gas station in Brno designed by Jacques Groag

 

The Isokon exhibition describes the Groags’ remarkable range of contacts that included Josef Hoffman, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Adolf Loos and Trude Fleischmann, while the display is copiously illustrated with many of their pre- and post-war works including commissions ranging from the Austrian Werkbundsiedlung, to the Festival of Britain, Gordon Russell, Swan & Edgar, Heal’s, Colibri and Schiaparelli. Jacqueline, some of whose original textiles are on show, even created the fabric for a dress worn by the future Elizabeth II.

A superb new book on the life and work of the Groags by historian Ursula Prokop will be on sale at the Gallery throughout the season.

Text and research by Ursula Prokop and Carrie Paterson
Design by Tom de Gay