Golden Boy: An Exhibition Gem Puts Klimt in Context

Water Serpents II, opened to the public for the first time in 60 years. Courtesy of HomeArt.

A new exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum presents for the first time the Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt and the artists who influenced him, including Van Gogh.

of exhibitionThe Golden Boy Gustav Klimt, which opens Oct. 7 and runs until Jan. 8, 2023, is expected to be a blockbuster and has been postponed for two years due to the pandemic.

“This is a real moment,” said Emily Gordenker, director of the Van Gogh Museum. “This exhibition about Gustav Klimt and what inspired him has been planned for a very long time. Extensive research has been carried out in collaboration with the Museum Wien, so this exhibition is able to show for the first time the relationship between Klimt and his sources of inspiration.

For example, how some of the Austrian artist’s later landscape paintings were inspired by Van Gogh, and how his voluptuous compositions inspired the famous works of John Singer Sargent, Monet, Rodin, Matisse and Toulouse-Lautrec. Explore how it was drawn from contemporary works.

As a founding member of the contemporary art group of the Vienna Secession in 1897, Klimt created influential exhibitions and publications and exposed several other artists.

The exhibition traces his career from his classical training, through his increasingly erotic portraiture era (which quickly scandalized modern Austria), to his later years when he focused more on landscape and decorative arts. track the growth of over time.

Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze Photograph Reproduction S Boztas

The exhibition includes Klimt’s eponymous golden painting style and a reproduction of the 1902 Beethoven Frieze, a masterpiece denounced as obscene at the time. Among them is the moving, mysterious and unfinished painting The Bride, which was discovered in his easel in 1918 when he died at the age of 55.

The exhibition was also a “treasure hunt” of sorts, said Edwin Becker, the exhibition’s director. As for the works, there weren’t that many to begin with.

He said the museum was delighted to secure the loan of Adele Bloch-Bauer II, an iconic painting once owned by Oprah Winfrey, which has since been turned into a private collection. Other works include commissioned portraits involving the philanthropist Klimt’s perhaps most important muse, fashion her designer Emilie her Frege, and a young woman on her deathbed Leah her Munch .

Get inspired by stickers with Klimt motifs Photo: S Boztas

The museum also commissioned contemporary artist Bas van Beek to create Klimt-inspired pieces, including cushions, wallpaper and motif stickers. Visitors can stick their own patterns on the stairs between his two floors of the exhibition.

Gordenker thanked more exhibition sponsors than usual, including Rosaline Wong and HomeArt, Turing Foundation, Fonds 21, Mondrian Fund, Blockbusterfonds, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Stichting Zabawas, Creative Industries Fund, Rembrandt Association and Hyundai. and the Fanzhi Foundation for Arts and Education.

“It’s easy to imagine people asking why Klimt is at the Van Gogh Museum,” Gordenker said. Of course, we are the world authority on Van Gogh, but we do more than that. It collects and exhibits his contemporaries and those who were influenced by him. This exhibition is expected to be very busy, so it is recommended to book your tickets in advance.

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