If you’re looking to explore signature graphic style, figural distortion and the defiance of conventional norms of beauty, then immerse yourself in Egon Schiele’s radical artwork alongside the sublime photography of Francesca Woodman this summer at Tate Liverpool.
As one of the most important artists of the early 20th century, Egon Schiele’s highly original vision of the naked figure echoes his contribution to modern art, his work noted for its intensity and raw sexuality. The many nude paintings, both male and female, convey Schiele’s rejection of traditional beauty ideals through emphasising tension and tragedy in the human body. The twisted shapes, expressive lines and unflattering angles used in his paintings further mark the artist as an early exponent of Expressionism. Creating around three thousand drawings over the course of his brief career, Schiele was both an extraordinarily prolific and unparalleled draughtsman.
Schiele’s portraits and self-portraits helped re-establish the vitality of both genres with their unprecedented level of emotional and sexual directness. Despite his infamy, Gustav Klimt became one of Schiele’s biggest supporters as well as his mentor.
Schiele’s time spent in the army was very light throughout the war, as he never saw any front-line fighting. He was able to paint and sketch while guarding Russian prisoners of war and performing other guard duties. Despite Schiele’s short life (he died aged just 28 in the influenza pandemic that ravaged a war-battered Europe) he produced an astonishing number of works on canvas and paper in his time. Schiele was also instrumental in formulating the character of early-20th-century Expressionism, characterised by the use of irregular contours, an often somber palette, and frequently dark symbolism.
Join Tate Liverpool ten years after their internationally acclaimed Gustav Klimt show, as they showcase rarely-exhibited drawings by Egon Schiele in an exhibition marking the centenary year of his death.