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Egon Schiele exhibition in Albertina to kick off the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of his death
22 February, 2017 - 23 February, 2017
The masterpieces of Egon Schiele: works both passionate and ruthlessly blunt, and at once highly subjective and allegorical.
Egon Schiele does more than simply highlight the dynamics of changing perspectives—understood as proximity to or distance from the portrait subject, the nude model, or the landscape motif—in Schiele’s drawing process. It also attempts to point out Schiele’s diverse sources of inspiration in order to arrive at a new approach to decoding his often so riddle-like and allegorical works. And viewed from this perspective, Schiele proves to be not only an artist of the greatest freedom and aesthetic autonomy, but also a champion of ethical integrity and passionate spirituality.
To kick off the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Schiele’s death, the Albertina is devoting a broadly conceived exhibition to this seminal artist.
The selection for this showing introduces visitors to an oeuvre centred on the great theme of human beings’ existential loneliness. Works from the Albertina’s extensive collection provide this exhibition’s conceptual starting point and are complemented by various important loan works from Austrian and foreign collections and museums. The showing thus presents a unique perspective on Schiele’s artistic development, which was so abruptly terminated upon his untimely death at the tender age of 28.
Schiele numbers among the pioneers of modernism in Austria along with Gustav Klimt and Oskar Kokoschka. Immediately following graduation from Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts, where his output had consisted mainly in studies done according to the strict requirements of his teachers, the young Schiele first turned to the Art Nouveau style with Klimt as his primary model. But unlike Klimt, whose drawings served as ideas, cartoons, or sketches for his paintings, Egon Schiele soon came to regard his own paper-based creations as
independent works of art—and indeed, they suggest even more freedom and creative power than his paintings.
Despite his tragically short life (1890–1918) and an artistic career that encompassed little more than ten years, Egon Schiele left behind an astoundingly large oeuvre. Without counting his sketchbooks, it encompasses over 2,500 works on paper and over 300 paintings on wood or canvas.
The Albertina is home to one of the world’s largest collections of Schiele’s art, including 160 works on paper and 13 sketchbooks as well as numerous valuable documents and memorabilia relating to his life.
Schiele’s artwork have been celebrated in numerous exhibitions in the past, such as Schiele and the radical nude at The Courtauld Institute of Art; Melancholy and provocation at Leopold Museum on the occasion of its tenth anniversary; Egon Schiele and his time at Palazzo Reale in Milan; Schiele, at the Museum Guggenheim in Bilbao.