100th anniversary celebrations of Schiele start a year early
Albertina, Vienna Showing until: 18 June 2017
2018 marks the 100-year anniversary of the death of Egon Schiele, often described as the ‘enfant terrible’ of classic modernism, with his numerous self-portraits, stark depictions of nude women and his self-image as an artist. The Albertina is getting ahead of this anniversary with a comprehensive exhibition this year as well as next.
Egon Schiele is one of the most significant visual artists of the twentieth century. His works are provocative, melancholy, highly subjective and allegorical all at once, and he only reached the age of 28. And yet, despite his short life-span and a barely more than ten-year-long phase of artistic creativity, he succeeded in leaving behind an astonishingly large body of work. It includes more than 2,500 works on paper and over 330 paintings on wood or canvas – not counting his numerous sketchbooks.
Schiele, who was born in 1890 as the child of a railway official who worked at the station Tulln on the Danube, is considered one of the pioneers of modernism in Austria with Klimt and Kokoschka. To Schiele, the chasm between men and women seemed insurmountable and slowly transforms into an allegory of an encounter between life and death. Although his works were perceived as merely provocative during his time, causing quite a stir, they are now interpreted as pieces of deep melancholy and mourning as well as a fascination with the unusual.
The Albertina owns one of the largest collections of Schiele’s works in the world and the exhibition, Egon
Schiele, is rounded out by important individual loans from Austrian and international collections and museums.
Egon Schiele, Self Portrait in orange cloak, 1913