press release

Egon Schiele died in 1918 at the age of just 28, but his “eternal” painting continues to fascinate and enchant the public, today as it did yesterday. The Schiele, Klimt, Kokoschka and Viennese friends exhibition at the Mart in Rovereto presents over 120 works from Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna, and other prestigious Austrian and German museums, comprising paintings, drawings and sculptures, many of which never exhibited before in Italy, illustrating the life and work of Egon Schiele (1890 – 1918), one of the most celebrated exponents of expressionist art. This is a major opportunity to explore the development of the great Austrian artist, but also to learn about the cultural setting of Vienna at the turn of the last century, through the works of the group of artists who, with Schiele, helped renew modern art.

Gustav Klimt (1862 – 1918), Schiele’s friend and mentor, is certainly a central figure for the artistic development of the young Schiele. Klimt was his teacher, and Schiele drew inspiration from him, although soon abandoning the former’s undulating lines decorated with gold and plant motifs in favour of a cruder, harder realism expressed above all through portraits and nudes.

Egon Schiele frequented the Viennese Academy of Figurative Arts, but left after a short while in the wake of disagreements with his teachers. In 1909, with 15 course companions, including Anton Faistauer and Robin Christian Andersen, he founded the Neukunstgruppe(New Art Group). The cultural setting in which the young Schiele lived and worked – presented in this exhibition – offers a new overview of his work, proposing interesting comparisons with the artistic production of his contemporaries. These are his friends, also working in the avantgarde movement, such as Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, Anton Faistauer, Anton Kolig, Carl Moll, Koloman Moser, Max Oppenheimer and Anton Peschka, who were to accompany him in his artistic development, starting with the Jugendstil and later “opening out” into Viennese expressionism.

The Mart exhibition, curated by Tobias G. Natter and Thomas Sharmn under the direction of Gabriella Belli, ends with a section dedicated to the 49th Exhibition of the Viennese Sezession of March 1918, in which Egon Schiele, just a few months away from his premature death in the Spanish Flu epidemic, gained major success and critical recognition.

The Trentino in those years was, thanks to its location in ‘Mitteleuropa’, strongly influenced by the cultural ferments of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and there was a lively exchange with the artistic culture of Vienna. The Schiele, Klimt, Kokoschka and Viennese friends exhibition thus finds an ideal venue in the Rovereto Mart.


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Schiele, Klimt, Kokoschka and Viennese friends
Kuratoren: Tobias G. Natter, Thomas Sharmn

Werke von Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka, Gustav Klimt, Anton Faistauer, Anton Kolig, Carl Moll, Koloman Moser, Max Oppenheimer, Anton Peschka ...