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Gustav Klimt. Drawings around the Beethoven Frieze
Koloman Moser, da “Ver sacrum”, n. 1, a. 1898, tavola p. 11, 22x17,5 cm, Università degli Studi di Milano, Centro Apice (Archivi della Parola, dell'Immagine e della Comunicazione Editoriale)
Gustav Klimt, Nudo di donna in piedi vista di schiena, le braccia flesse orizzontalmente, 1917-1918 matita, Collezione privata
Gustav Klimt, Nudo di ragazza vista di fronte, le mani appoggiate sulla guancia, 1908/1909, matita, Collezione privata
Gustav Klimt, Nudo di donna in piedi con la gamba destra sollevata, 1902 ca., gessetto nero, Collezione privata
Gustav Klimt, Sangue di pesce, da “Ver sacrum”, n. 3, a. 1898, tavola p. 6, 19,5x19,5 cm, Università degli Studi di Milano, Centro Apice (Archivi della Parola, dell'Immagine e della Comunicazione Editoriale)
This presentation is curated by three experts: Annette Vogel for the drawings section, Lorenza Tonani for the section on secessionist graphics and Maria Porro for the spectacular reproduction of the Beethoven Frieze.
Klimt, one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession and an artist of extraordinary relevance in the history of modern art, would have celebrated his 150th birthday in 2012. In honour of this anniversary a series of important international events will celebrate the life and work of the Austrian master. Vienna - the city where Klimt lived for most of his life - will host numerous high-calibre exhibitions in its most prestigious venues. Other European cities - like Paris, Barcelona, Berlin and London - will organise special workshops to help visitors discover and investigate the works of the great artist.
Milan, the first Italian city to inaugurate the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Klimt’s birth, adheres to this international series of dedicated cultural events with a life-size reproduction of the extraordinary Beethoven Frieze, accompanied by fifteen original drawings related to the famous fresco, normally shown in the Secession building in Vienna. The exhibition route opens with original posters from the Viennese Secession by, amongst others, Koloman Moser, Alfred Roller, Ferdinand Hodler and Leopold Stolba, produced for the personal exhibitions of the movement and part of the Salce collection of the Superintendence for historical, artistic and ethno-anthropological patrimonies in the provinces of Venice, Belluno, Padua and Treviso. Some issues of "Ver Sacrum" the famous official magazine are also on display, designed by artists of the secessionist movement, which promoted– Gesamtkunstwerk – all-embracing art form.
The aim of the exhibition is to guide visitors to a better understanding of Klimt’s masterpieces, drawing together the main graphic motifs of the composition with the highly symbolic and numerous allegories that emerge from it. A team of designers and decorators have created a reproduction of the famous Beethoven Frieze in 1:1 scale. The Frieze will be placed in a dedicated room and accompanied by the notes of the Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
The Frieze reveals Klimt’s strong eclecticism within which, in his own distinctive style, he manages to blend and draw inspiration from various figurative and artistic elements, merging different ideas and nuances. From Egyptian painting and Greek vases he takes the conception of the wall as a frame upon which to align a sequence of figures and events and he draws a strong and incisive style from the Japanese prints by Hokusai and Utamaro. The frightening masks of the realm of evil that the Knight (male protagonist of the work) has to face and fight during his long journey to join Poetry, the incarnation of the female figure, are of African inspiration.