This Week in Color – Josef Frank

October 24 2014 – When you get two commissions to complete in a short period of time, naturally their final deadlines will both fall on the same day. Because the Universe likes to see you rise to a challenge 😉 I made both deadlines, but other things like blogging, eating, and going to the bathroom were kind of put on the back burner. That’s why I’m doing a double update now.

Weekly Hues

The palette is inspired by this week’s Art Crush artist, Josef Frank. His brilliant palettes just brighten my days.

Palette inspired by Josef Frank

Palette inspired by Josef Frank

Art Crush

Josef Frank, 1960

Josef Frank, 1960

My art crush this week is  Josef Frank. I discovered his work quite by accident, fooling around on Pinterest. His work really sets me on fire in some fundamental way, and it looks so cutting edge that it completely threw me to find out the guy was born in 1885.

Born in Austria to parents of Hungarian descent, he moved to Sweden in 1933 and did a lot of his most influential work while working for the Stockholm design company Svenskt Tenn, who are still going strong today. A lot of the fabrics in their current catalogue are still his designs, because I guess they just still haven’t found anyone to surpass him.

And looking at his work, can you blame them? I don’t know if it’s the organic flow, the meticulous detail, the electric colors or the beautiful chaos, but the work is completely mesmerizing. Each of those patterns makes me want to have a conversation with the man. Wish he had a Skillshare class 🙂

I find it really inspiring to see how many people who created patterns basically a hundred years ago felt the same things about their work that we feel today. Up until today any time someone asked me ‘if you could talk to any person, living or dead, who would you choose?’ my answer was always William Morris. From now on I might move that up to Josef Frank 🙂

Josef Frank, selected pieces

Josef Frank, selected pieces



5 thoughts on “This Week in Color – Josef Frank

  1. Yeah I see what you mean about this Josef Frank. And there’s something to this hundred-years-ago thing. Charles Rennie Macintosh is looking better and better right now. And designs from Taisho Japan. Spooky.

    BTW congratulations on your commissions! The Force is with you…

    • Exactly, Mackintosh, Lalique, Morris, Frank…. I keep finding myself amazed that in a field inundated with modern artists I find myself fascinated by those from so long ago. Also interesting that in a field which is massively predominated by women I’m markedly drawn to the few guys I discover. My no. 1 idol is also a guy, Dan Funderburgh.

      Thanks 🙂 It has been a lucky month for sure, even with the overlapping deadlines! It’s so fun to work on commissioned work, completely different from working on my own stuff. The level of responsibility rises immeasurably, since if my personal piece is not working out I can always just trash it, but here I need to produce something someone else will like, against the clock. It’s exhilarating in a strange way.

  2. Thanks for introducing me to Josef Frank. I just might have a new hero. I see we like very similar artists. Morris of course! I found Dan Funderburgh a few years ago. I love he used modern unexpected things in the very traditional layout. Love all the details in his work as well.

    • Yes on all those things 🙂 Frank is a discovery for me. I’ve actually been completely infatuated with a few artists who I now see have been profoundly impacted by his work. I love the detailed stuff as well, things that evidently take a ton of effort.

  3. That gentleman just won a fan. His designs look so beautiful! Organic, nature inspired with touches of fruits here and there?! Love it. La Plata 315 is one of my favorites from what I’ve seen. Thank you for sharing your discovery Lidija 🙂

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