Egon Schiele

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Egon Schiele, Old houses in Krumau, 1914

Exploring approximately one hundred works, Egon Schiele presents a comprehensive approach to the great Austrian Expressionist’s universe through a selection of drawings, gouaches, and watercolors from the Albertina, Vienna, home to one of the most important and extensive collections of works on paper in the world. The exhibition traces a course through Schiele’s oeuvre and stylistic evolution, examining early works created while he was attending the Akademie der bildenden Künste (Academy of Fine Arts) in Vienna, pieces he created while influenced by Gustav Klimt and Viennese Secession, and his departure from naturalism through a radical treatment of color to the use of new, disconcerting motifs, such as explicit, erotic nudes.

Egon Schiele developed a highly personal style through the decorative use of flat surfaces and fluid ornamental lines, a signature of Viennese Secession. His figures’ expressionistic body language and gestures respond to the influence of both Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot’s clinical photographs of female patients suffering from hysteria and Otto Schmidt’s erotic studio photographs. Schiele’s work freed the erotic representation of female nudes from associations with caricature or pornography, and eliminated the historical antagonism between beauty and ugliness, revolutionizing the role of the nude in art. In Schiele’s work, the sick body and pathological disintegration of self transcend the clinical and become art.

Egon Schiele, Old houses in Krumau, 1914 (Detail). Opaque color and pencil on Japanese vellum, 32.5 x 48.5 cm. Albertina, Vienna

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Franz Marc, Stables (Stallungen), 1913

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