Schiele Surprise

schiele_kniende-im-orangenOne of the things I am very happy with from my recent explorations in Vienna was my proper discovery of Egon Schiele. Somehow he’d not been on my radar before, and while I enjoyed looking at lots of rock-star famous excellent work by Gustav Klimt, it was Schiele who, out of the two, really captivated me on this trip. (More on another artist later.) So as to not startle you while eating your morning wheaties, I’ll spare you one or two of my favourite drawings/paintings of his that spring most immediately to mind, and instead show you the one on the right, which is very striking (Kneeling female in orange-red dress, 1910). He seems to have had a thing for orange/red, I’ve noticed. Or maybe it is I who notice it a lot in his work. I mostly love that many of his paintings are very much like line drawings with colour added, and since his line drawing work is marvellous, this is just great, as far as I am concerned. The overall roughness and the juxtaposition of certain hard angles in a way that gives a beautiful finished whole is something I can’t help but admire.

Google some more Schiele for yourself. Then, perhaps out of left field, I’ll suggest the following (which occurred to me within seconds of standing in front of some of his work in the Leopold Museum). Track down Frank Miller and Lynn Varley’s beautiful masterpiece Electra Lives Again (1990) and see what you can see. If you already know it, look at it again with fresh, Schiele-tinted eyes.


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