Schiele Reloaded at the Leopold Museum: New impetus for Jubilee Show
Contemporary “injections” from Bourgeois to Samsonow
The exhibition EGON SCHIELE. THE JUBILEE SHOW – RELOADED at the Leopold Museum shows that a hundred years after the artist’s death, his oeuvre has lost none of its relevance. On the invitation of the Leopold Museum’s Director Hans-Peter Wipplinger, the exhibition’s curators Verena Gamper and Diethard Leopold chose nine positions of international contemporary art to be placed as selective “injections” into the jubilee show. The exhibition features works by Louise Bourgeois (FR/US), Tadashi Kawamata (JP/FR), Jürgen Klauke (DE), Sarah Lucas (UK), Chloe Piene (US), Rudolf Polanszky (AT), Maximilian Prüfer (DE), Elisabeth von Samsonow (DE/AT) and Fiona Tan (IDN/NL).
The exhibition EGON SCHIELE. THE JUBILEE SHOW curated by Diethard Leopold and Hans-Peter Wipplinger represents a major contribution to the anniversary year dedicated to “Viennese Modernism”. Originally intended to close on 4th November, the exhibition has received new impetus and will be extended owing to its great popularity. The RELOADED interventions allow for a significant modification of the existing exhibition, expanding it with exciting dialogues between Schiele’s oeuvre and contemporary art.
“Some 400,000 visitors have been to see EGON SCHIELE. THE JUBILEE SHOW since late February 2018, making it the most successful exhibition in the Leopold Museum’s history to date. It is the only exhibition that affords visitors the opportunity to trace the development of this ground-breaking artist of Modernism through a comprehensive collection of works of the highest quality. The careful selection of contemporary artworks chosen for the RELOADED interventions, which enter into an exciting dialogue with works by Schiele, highlights the inspirational character, the potential for dialogue and the timelessness of the oeuvre of this the museum’s central artist.” Hans-Peter Wipplinger, Director
The exhibited works relate in various ways to Schiele’s central themes and motifs. His self-reflections and the questioning of his own body, his depictions of women and his ambivalent mother image, the theme of spirituality, as well as the landscapes, cityscapes and expressive portraits of this protagonist of Viennese Modernism are recharged through juxtapositions with contemporary art.
“The curated dialogues are based on specific references or personal associations, refer to individual works by Schiele or rest on corresponding interests, reinforcing or contouring one another. What these nine staged artistic dialogues have in common is that they focus on similarities in terms of content rather than on formal aesthetic parallels, affording a fresh perspective on Schiele’s oeuvre.” Verena Gamper and Diethard Leopold, curators.
Monumental paintings, such as Levitation incarnating Schiele’s concept of the beyond, or “Hermits” with its figures resembling “a cloud of dust”, are juxtaposed with a transparent, almost floating sculpture and a painting emphasizing materiality created by the Viennese artist RUDOLF POLANSZKY. JÜRGEN KLAUKE’S photographic work, which sees the artist’s body become a projection surface for identities, meets Schiele’s diverse and expressive self-stagings. LOUISE BOURGEOIS translated her experiences of her infirm mother into figurations oscillating between intimacy and monstrosity. Schiele’s own ambivalent relationship with his mother is evidenced by his continuous exploration of the subject of maternity.
ELISABETH VON SAMSONOW has reacted to the spiritual element in Schiele’s oeuvre with an installation created especially for the exhibition that addresses the theosophical influences in Schiele’s oeuvre. The eccentric introspections of the US artist CHLOE PIENE encounter Egon Schiele’s multi-faceted female images, in which the lines between portrait and self-depiction seem to become blurred. The British artist SARAH LUCAS has followed the Leopold Museum’s invitation with a new work produced especially for the exhibition, a version of her provocative “Bunnies” intended to unmask the male view.
Schiele’s mystical Landscape with Ravens enters into a dialogue with MAXIMILIAN PRÜFER’S triptych Crow which captures the traces of new life emerging from a decomposing animal cadaver on the image surface. The Japanese artist living in Paris TADASHI KAWAMATA explores fragile architectures by cladding existing buildings with wooden slats as experimental designs. These prototypes are juxtaposed with Schiele’s deserted cityscapes, including Crescent of Houses II. The final section of the exhibition, dedicated to Schiele’s portraits, shows historical photographs of Japanese schoolgirls on monitors, which are part of the work The Changeling by the Amsterdam-based artist FIONA TAN. Tan confronts these standardized photographs with a single portrait shot accompanied by a narrator assuming different fictional roles and showcasing the malleability and instability of identity.
Ceremonial opening of the exhibition
The opening of the exhibition presented by Director Hans-Peter Wipplinger and the curators Verena Gamper and Diethard Leopold was attended by the participating artists Elisabeth von Samsonow, Chloe Piene and Maximilian Prüfer, by Walter Vopava, the German ambassador Johannes Haindl, Andreas Werner, Florian Reiter (gelitin), Peter Sandbichler, Hans Kupelwieser, DG Josef Ostermayer (Sozialbau AG, designated chairman of the Leopold Museum), the Leopold Museum board members Helmut Moser, Elisabeth Leopold and Werner Muhm, Alfred Weidinger (director of the Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig), the art dealer Yves Macaux, theater scholar Monika Meister, Allan Janik (Universität Innsbruck), Venice Biennale commissioner Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein, Gabriele Langer (Managing Director, Leopold Museum), Belvedere curator Franz Smola, Antonia Hoerschelmann (curator, Albertina), the collector Martin Lenikus, the gallery owners Elisabeth and Klaus Thoman, Heike Curtze, Andrea Jünger, Katharina Husslein, Michael Beck and Ute Eggeling (Beck & Eggeling), Deniz Pekerman, Andreas Huber (Galerie Crone) and Philipp Konzett, Natalie Hoyos (Sammlung Deutsche Telekom), Willi Dorner and Lisa Rastl, Juliane Feldhoffer (Kunst im öffentlichen Raum NÖ), the musician Rudolf Leopold, Susanne Rohringer, designer and Klimt descendant Brigitte Huber-Mader and her family, tax advisor Roland Schmidt, Thomas Mondl and Leopold Birstinger (Association of Friends of the Leopold Museum), and many others.
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