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14.12.05

Egon Schiele in Vienna

Also on Ionarts:

Art Happenings Here and There (on the Schiele exhibit in Amsterdam this spring, April 6, 2005)

Self-Portraits at the Luxembourg, Part 2 (one of Schiele's self-portraits in Paris, July 9, 2004)

Other Articles:

Jonathan Jones, The come-on (The Guardian, April 19, 2003)

Michael Prodger, The gaze that still unsettles (The Telegraph, April 11, 2005)
The Albertina Museum in Vienna is showing a major retrospective on Egon Schiele right now (through March 19), at the same time as a less convincing exhibit -- Egon Schiele: The Ronald S. Lauder and Serge Sabarsky Collections -- is on view at the Neue Galerie in New York (through February 20). With more than 220 works of art (about 130 of them from the museum's own collection), the Albertina's exhibit is the largest ever devoted solely to Schiele's work, and it's in his hometown. Hervé de Saint Hilaire reviewed the exhibit (Egon Schiele, douceurs et effrois magnétiques, December 12) for Le Figaro (my translation):
We owe this exhibit to Professor Klaus Albrecht Schröder, who contributed a lot to the restoration of this former Habsburg residence, completed in 2003. He is the director of this museum that harbors the richest collection of graphic art in the world -- alas, not accessible by the public -- with a million prints and 65,000 drawings by masters from Dürer to Cézanne and including Michelangelo and Leonardo. But the untiring Professor Schröder is also a "specialist," although the word hardly suits the devoted passion he has demonstrated toward his favorite artist for thirty years, but he is both the exhibit's curator and the basically sole author of its imposing catalogue. [...]

And if, in 1912, he was put in prison for inciting the delinquency of a minor -- the eternal stupidity of the censors, at their roots the same ones who condemned Baudelaire and Flaubert -- the lightness of the penalty in Vienna at the time, still Puritanical and intractable, a jail sentence of three days, was sufficiently eloquent. This experience was nevertheless very trying for the sweet Schiele. But it inspired in him some watercolors of grandiose simplicity and some poignant texts by the painter, who was also a poet, published by his friend Arthur Roessler in 1922.
The catalogue will be published in an English version some time in January. The museum has almost nothing about the exhibit on its Web site: see instead this nice assortment of Schiele images from Le Monde des Arts and this image gallery from the Amsterdam show from The Telegraph.

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