Other name Puck
Born Gmunden, Austria
Died London, England
Graphic artist, designer, painter and sculptor, Hugo 'Puck' Dachinger was born in Gmunden, Upper Austria in 1908 to Jewish middle-class parents. He studied at the School of Arts and Crafts in Leipzig, Germany (1929-32), paying for his tuition by selling portrait drawings and working as a salesman and window-dresser. Afterwards he worked as a graphic designer, moving in 1932 to Vienna, where he invented a system of moveable type (patented in 1933) and established workshops in Leipzig, Zagreb and Budapest. In 1938, travelling via Denmark, he immigrated to England, settling in North London and establishing the successful Transposter Advertising Ltd firm with Ernst Rosenfeld (which closed in 1945). From June 1940–January 1941 Dachinger was interned, first at Huyton, Liverpool and then in Mooragh Camp, Ramsey, on the Isle of Man. After release he married fellow artist and German émigré Meta Gutmann (who nicknamed him 'Puck'). He exhibited at German-Jewish émigré Jack Bilbo's Modern Art Gallery in London in 1942 and alongside fellow Austrian artists at the prestigious Redfern and Leger Galleries from 1941–45, also continuing to work as an inventor and designer for various publishing companies. Dachinger’s work has been included in survey exhibitions including Kunst im Exil in Grossbritannien 1933-45 (Berlin, Oberhuasen, Vienna and London, 1986), Art Behind Barbed Wire (Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 2004) and Ben Uri's Forced Journeys: Artists in Exile in Britain, c. 1933-45 (London, Isle of Man and Birkenhead, 2009–10). In 2012 the Austrian Cultural Forum held the first UK Dachinger retrospective; his work is also held in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and the Manx Museum, Isle of Man.
Object type drawing
Medium pen and ink on paper
Unframed 28 x 39 cm
Framed 38 x 49 cm
Signed dedicated (lower right) 'To Jane and Bert, Bell Street Market Sept 1976', initialled 'D' and dated '1977'
Acquisition Presented by Jane Stuckey 2002
Accession number 2002-8
Display status On display in 'Out of Austria', 13 March - 29 April 2018
Just off Abbey Road, nearby Bell Street Market, with its mixture of junk and vintage stalls, was a popular feature in postwar London. With a few deft strokes in pen and ink, Dachinger conjures up its lively characters and atmosphere.