"The Women of Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka" exhibition explores the numerous and almost obsessive depictions of women painted by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Oskar Kokoschka. It opened at the Belvedere Palace & Museum in Vienna and is on view from October 22 to February 28.
Questions of sexuality, masturbation, and sexual psychology were just beginning to be addressed in Western society, after years of repression. Evidence of this social change can be seen in the work of the three artists, in their depictions of sexually charged couples, women, and mothers.Looking at Klimt, Schiele, and Kokoschka's approach to portraying women, the exhibition explores the Viennese society of the time, as well as the question of gender politics at the start of the 20th century, when both women and men's sexuality were undergoing a revolution.
Today, Schiele's work is extremely well loved, and depictions of female sexuality quite commonplace, but during his lifetime, his work and lifestyle were viewed as absolutely scandalous. Klimt also drew negative reactions for his lifestyle, while Kokoschka was more traditional and, some sources even say, repressed.Klimt's sumptuous portraits, still imitated and incredibly coveted today, were breathtakingly beautiful, layered, and detailed, but almost totally obscured the actual women they depicted, making them seem like otherworldly. In comparison, Schiele and Kokoschka stripped things back with sparse or no backgrounds, making the women's presence and sexuality the unavoidable focus.
Although their approaches differed, what brought the work of these three coeval artists together — other than their depictions of women—was a belief in romantic love and female sexual autonomy. Seeing all these masterpieces together is definitely worth a look.
To view Klimt’s picture gallery, click on the link - bit.ly/1ROkXXR