Ben Uri collection

Paul Hamann's Art Class

Artist information

Name Hugo Dachinger (1908-1995)

Other name Puck

Born Gmunden, Austria

Died London, England

Find more work in the collection by this artist

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 Details

Date 1962

Object type drawing

Medium pen and ink on paper

Materials and techniques ink | pen (medium) paper (support)

Unframed 35 x 43 cm

Framed 48 x 58 cm

Signed signed and dated (lower right) 'D H 1962'

Acquisition Presented by Jane Stuckey

Accession number 2002-9

Display status Not on display

After release from internment, Dachinger exhibited at London's Redfern Gallery in April 1941, at German-Jewish émigré Jack Bilbo’s Modern Art Gallery in 1942, and alongside fellow Austrian artists at the Redfern and Leger Galleries (1941–45), also working as an inventor and designer for various publishing companies. He also maintained close ties with the émigré network. The sculptor and German émigré Paul Hamman (1891–1973) and his artist wife Hilde (1898–1987), both former members of the Hamburger Secession, settled in England in 1937, after living in artists’ colonies in Worpswede and Paris. Hamann invented a painless technique for lifemasks and exhibited at the FGLC’s Exhibition of Twentieth Century Art (New Burlington Galleries, 1938); both were included in the First Group Exhibition of German, Austrian, Czechoslovakian Painters and Sculptors (Wertheim Gallery, 1939), co-organised by the Austrian Centre and the Free German League of Culture. Afterwards, many émigrés continued to meet regularly at the art classes which the Hamanns held in St John’s Wood and Hamann remained at the centre of the émigré network.

Selected exhibition history

2018 Out of Austria: Austrian emigre artists to the UK


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