LEOPOLD MUSEUM: Tracey meets Egon

Opening of Tracey Emin’s first exhibition in Austria

Vienna (OTS) – Thursday night, the celebrated British artist Tracey Emin made her eagerly awaited debut on the Austrian art scene in Vienna. Hundreds of guests flocked to the Leopold Museum on this lovely spring evening to witness the opening of Tracey Emin’s exhibition.

London – Maria Wörth – Vienna

During the speeches for the opening of her new exhibition "TRACEY EMIN I EGON SCHIELE. WHERE I WANT TO GO", London’s celebrated artist Tracey Emin herself explained why she had wanted to exhibit at the Vienna Leopold Museum. Talking to Danielle Spera – the Director of the Jewish Museum Vienna and the opening’s host – she related her encounter with the Viennese gallery owner Miryam Charim, whom she had met during a spa trip to the beautiful Austrian village of Maria Wörth. Emin had told her of her fascination with Egon Schiele, prompting Charim to suggest that she might be able to arrange something, seeing as she knew the Leopold family. This was followed by a meeting with Diethard and Waltraud Leopold and soon it became clear that it was possible for this dream exhibition to become a reality.

Exciting exhibition: Eroticism and solitude

Together with Emin, Diethard Leopold and Karol Winiarczyk designed an exciting exhibition which is not meant to be a retrospective, but rather to provide a connection between recent works by Tracey Emin and the oeuvre of Egon Schiele. Tracey Emin personally selected the drawings, gouaches and poems by Schiele for the presentation. This encounter between the two artists from the 20th and 21st centuries works brilliantly, as has already been confirmed by the media’s reception of the show. 
The artist and the exhibition’s curators delicately lead through art’s landscapes of the soul. Schiele’s and Emin’s works address the same themes, such as eroticism, sensuality, desire, but also loneliness and transience. Although they have arrived at different artistic solutions, there is more to unite than to separate them in their works. Drawing on the diversity of her oeuvre, Tracey presents neons, an installation made from wood and metal, embroideries, gouaches, paintings and sculptures, as well as an animated film based on her drawings.

Emin: International Schiele

Franz Smola, the Museological Director (interim) of the Leopold Museum, praised the wonderful collaboration with Tracey and her team and thanked Emin’s foremost galleries White Cube (London) and Lehmann Maupin (New York). Tracey Emin made a plea for the internationalisation of Schiele, who she feels must not remain shackled to Austria, but has to be made accessible to the whole world. This is much in keeping with Schiele’s own wishes, for shortly before his death aged only 28, he had voiced his dream of his paintings being shown in all the world’s museums. The Leopold family and the Leopold Museum Private Foundation have always pursued that same goal. Emin even inspired Diethard Leopold to create his own poem, which he recited to an enthusiastic audience. At the end of the speeches, the curator Karol Winiarczyk presented the artist, who was elegantly dressed in black, with a bouquet of exquisite white flowers.

Tracey Emin’s friends: London, New York, Australia, Vienna

Attending the opening were Elisabeth Leopold, the chairman of the board of directors of the Leopold Museum Private Foundation Helmut Moser, the foundation’s board members Dir. Carl Aigner and attorney Andreas Nödl, the Managing Director of the Leopold Museum Peter Weinhäupl, the artists Xenia Hausner, Bernadette Huber, Hannes Mlenek, Peter Sengl and Manfred Bockelmann, as well as Barbara Grötschnig (Wiener Städtische), the publisher Nikolaus Brandstätter, Ralf Lothert (JTI) and Ben Harding of the BBC. Also in attendance were numerous friends of Tracey Emin’s, collectors and gallery owners from Great Britain, Australia and the US, including Irene Bradbury (Artist and Museum Liaison Director, White Cube), Andrew Gwilliams (Exhibition Co-ordinator, White Cube), Rachel Lehmann (Lehmann Maupin Gallery), the celebrated London jewellery designer Stephen Webster, the collectors Anita and Poju Zabludowicz (Tamares Group), the film producer Hamish McAlpine, the director Malcolm Venville as well as Eimear O’Raw (Tracey Emin Studio).

The exhibition “TRACEY EMIN I EGON SCHIELE. WHERE I WANT TO GO” is on display from 24th April to 14th September 2015 at the Leopold Museum.

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