May 6, 1891, Zhitomir, Ukraine - February 20, 1945, Vienna, Austria
Austrian sculptor of Ukrainian origin
Bruno Zach was an Austrian Art deco, Ukrainian born sculptor, who worked from early -- to-mid 20th century. He immigrated to Austria being a young man and studied at the Vienna Academy under the sculptors Hans Bitterlich and Josef Müllner. After graduating from the Academy, he swiftly moved to Berlin, a city that played a key role in shaping his practice and where he is known to have made some of his most famous works. Zach mainly worked in the period from 1918 to 1935, rapidly becoming a pioneer and most controversial figure of the Art Deco age. His works reveled in the spirit of the time, often featuring erotic subject matter that made Zach’s work so unique - his devotion to exotic plots.
Zach reportedly spent much of his life in Berlin and Vienna at nightclubs, where he found models for his provocative sculptures. His elegant works capture these dual worlds of his life, the erotic night and the light beauty of innocence, a quality that can be seen beautifully in “The Riding Whip” -- cold-painted bronze sculpture of a young girl pointing a whip tightly in front of her.
He mainly worked in bronze and ivory, drawing on the symbolism of these materials, such as the light beauty of ivory, the weight of bronze or the lust of gold. His bronze works were generally fired in mid-brown colors but were often cold painted or polychrome.
Zach is known as a prolific creator of sculptures featuring tall, athletic, women, while also pursuing more traditional genre subject matter like dancers, mythological creatures, or horseback riders. His styles ranged from Art deco, Art nouveau, sporting, to orientalism, drawing from a diverse range of themes and plots, which resulted in many worlds we can now see, captured across his works.
One of his best known sculptures is the “The Riding Crop”, similar to the above “Riding Whip’’, is an excellent example of his charged erotic plot at its height.
Zach died at the age of 53 on February 20, 1945 in Vienna, Austria.