Klimt / Schiele exhibition opens in London

2018 marks the centenary of the deaths of two of the most celebrated and pioneering figures of early twentieth-century art: Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) and Egon Schiele (1890-1918). Klimt / Schiele: Drawings from the Albertina Museum, Vienna, will be the first exhibition in the UK to focus on the fundamental importance of drawing for both artists, from the origins of their academic training to their unconventional explorations of the human figure expressed through line. For Klimt and Schiele, two of Austria’s most famous artists, drawing emerged as a highly expressive practice that was ideally suited to new ideas of modernity, subjectivity and the erotic.

Egon Schiele, Seated Female Nude, Elbows Resting on Right Knee, 1914  Pencil and gouache on Japan paper, 48 x 32 cm  The Albertina Museum, Vienna  Exhibition organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London and the Albertina Museum, Vienna
Egon Schiele, Seated Female Nude, Elbows Resting on Right Knee, 1914 Pencil and gouache on Japan paper, 48 x 32 cm The Albertina Museum, Vienna Exhibition organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London and the Albertina Museum, Vienna

The exhibition will comprises around 100 unique works on paper by Klimt and Schiele, including studies for allegorical paintings, portraits and self-portraits, landscapes, erotic nudes and a sketchbook, as well as carefully selected examples of lithographs, photographs and original publications. These rarely loaned works are drawn from the exceptional holdings of the Albertina’s world-renowned collection, and, following the exhibition at the Royal Academy and due to their sensitivity to light, they will not be displayed again for many years to come.

Gustav Klimt, Study for 'The Dancer' ('Ria Munk II'), 1916-17  Pencil on paper, 49.6 x 32.4 cm  The Albertina Museum, Vienna  Exhibition organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London and the Albertina Museum, Vienna
Gustav Klimt, Study for ‘The Dancer’ (‘Ria Munk II’), 1916-17 Pencil on paper, 49.6 x 32.4 cm
The Albertina Museum, Vienna Exhibition organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London and the Albertina Museum, Vienna

The exhibition is arranged thematically in five sections examining Klimt’s and Schiele’s often divergent, yet sometimes compellingly parallel, processes and graphic styles. It reveals the ways in which these two artists experimented with the discipline of drawing from life, particularly in their provocative depictions of the human body in allegories, portraits and erotic nudes. The sections address the distinct role that drawing played for each artist, exploring traditional preparatory processes and departures from the academic procedure, the role of drawing in the interaction between artist and sitter, and drawing as a purely autonomous art form.

Egon Schiele, Group of Three Girls, 1911  Pencil, watercolour and gouache with white gouache heightening on packing paper, 44.7 x 30.8 cm  The Albertina Museum, Vienna  Exhibition organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London and the Albertina Museum, Vienna
Egon Schiele, Group of Three Girls, 1911 Pencil, watercolour and gouache with white gouache heightening on packing paper, 44.7 x 30.8 cm The Albertina Museum, Vienna Exhibition organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London and the Albertina Museum, Vienna

Klimt / Schiele: Drawings from the Albertina Museum, Vienna The Sackler Wing of Galleries Sunday 4 November 2018 – Sunday 3 February 2019 Tickets are available daily at the RA or by visiting royalacademy.org.uk

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine, ' A curation of the world’s most interesting culture' [PLUS] Art of Conversation: A tri-annual 'no news paper' AofC - Issue 1 Autumn 2018