Author(s): Herbert Stattler
In his book Ornament Stadt [Ornament City], the Austrian artist Herbert Stattler transferred 16 designs of ideal cities into precise pencil drawings. Urban utopias from the Renaissance to the 20th century are reproduced by Stattler again and again, until the ideal city is multiplied into an ornament: fans and concentric circles, repeating bubbles and dispersing stars. In the detail, however, in the movement of the pencil that repeats the original, there is a liveliness that counteracts the “big plan” in a congenial way. The design of the book draws on portfolios used by urban planners and draftsmen. The pages are folded in a way that the drawings appear in their original size. Only at closer inspection does it become apparent that they are drawn in pencil. The line is not always perfect and, as a consequence, the drawing departs from the urban utopias conjured by the architects. Ornament Stadt is published on the occasion of the solo exhibition at the Österreichisches Kulturforum in Berlin.