Friday, October 10, 2014

Kunsthaus Zürich presents Egon Schiele

The Kunsthaus Zürich is exhibiting the work of Egon Schiele (1890–1918) from 10 October 2014 to 25 January 2015.

While previous exhibitions have mostly placed Egon Schiele in his historical context, here the aim is to explore similarities and distinctions between his work and that of a contemporary painter. Schiele’s works are presented in a loose chronological sequence within the exhibition.

 In an oeuvre spanning slightly less than a decade, Schiele repeatedly returns to the self-portrait, sometimes as nude.

Although Schiele too employs a precisely modelled, even plastic chromatic structure, for him line and contour continue to guide his artistic perception.
Despite their usually small format, the 35 paintings and 55 works on paper by Schiele create an impact that is every bit the equal of others' giant creations. Grouped together in selected themes, they reveal an artistic intensity that does not shy away from extremes.

The exhibition features some works that have seldom been lent out before. The Leopold Museum in Vienna has exceptionally agreed to loan Egon Schiele’s 

‘Self-Portrait with Chinese Lantern Plant’ 

and the ‘Portrait of Wally Neuzil

 – his companion for many years – which accompanies it.

The Belvedere, Vienna has permitted Schiele’s seminal 

‘Death and Maiden’ 

to travel outside Austria for the first time in more than 25 years.


Using documents from the museum archive, the exhibition also sheds light for the first time on Egon Schiele’s close ties to the Kunsthaus Zürich. In 1915, at the height of World War One, the Kunsthaus’s then director Wilhelm Wartmann attempted to organize a solo show that would have been among Schiele’s first museum exhibitions. Schiele profiled himself as an artist-curator dedicated to promoting the young art of his time, the ‘most extreme’, and whose primary aim was to ‘make people see’. His preserved letters and additional source material are providing new insights into his work.