Friday, August 26, 2016

JEWEL BOXES: Klimt's gaggle of glamourous gals coming soon to Neue Galerie, NY

         “Truth is like fire; to tell the truth means to glow and burn.”                                                                                       ... Gustav Klimt

Anyone who reads this blog knows that the Neue Galerie NY is one of my most-loved museums in the world, and that Gustav Klimt is one of my favorite early 20th century
artists. I have spent many an hour staring at the luminous and much-storied 
Adele Bloch-Bauer I, the saga of whose recovery from Nazi looting was recounted in the  2015 film "Woman in Gold". The iconic painting has now found a permanent 
home at the Neue Galerie NY, thanks to the persistence of Bloch-Bauer's niece 
Maria Altmann, and the generosity of Ronald S. Lauder, the heirs of the Estates of 
Ferdinand and Adele Bloch-Bauer, and the Estée Lauder Fund.
 Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, 1907
Gold, silver, and oil on canvas 

I am very pleased to let my readers know that a new exhibition of Klimt's work,
Women of Vienna's Golden Age, 1900-1918 will open at Neue Galerie NY 
on September 22, 2016. The show will put into a broader context Klimt's
fascination with the sensuality of women, and the way in which they embodied the 
spirit of fin de siècle Vienna, at that time the center of the art world.

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The two ethereal paintings below represent some of Klimt's earliest portrait art, in which the influences of Symbolism and the Pre-Raphaelite movement are evident. Klimt (1862-1918) is considered a pivotal figure in the cultural life of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Vienna, and provided a vital link between nineteenth-century Symbolism and the beginning of Modernism.

Portrait of Szerena Lederer, 1899
Lederer was a Vienna socialite who built up the most important Klimt collection of her era.

 Portrait of Gertha Loew, 1902
This lovely painting of 19-year-old Gerta, swathed in white gossamer,
was also looted by the Nazis, but also was eventually recovered
and returned to the subject's daughter. 

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Moving into the the early decades of the 20th century,
Klimt's portraits become much more lively, colorful,
and almost Fauve-like. 

 Portrait of Mäda Primavesi, 1912

Mäda Primavesi was, by her own account, "an independent, assertive young girl", 
qualities  captured in this portrait of her at about nine years old.  The image 
attests to the sophisticated taste of her parents, banker and industrialist 
Otto Primavesi and his wife Eugenia, 
ardent supporters of progressive Viennese art and design.

 Portrait of Elisabeth Lederer, 1914-1916

Elisabeth was the daughter of August and Serena Lederer, Klimt's most important patrons. 
The family's collection eventually grew to include fifteen canvases by the artist. 
Serena, whose portrait Klimt later painted, was described by many 
as "the best-dressed woman in Vienna."

Portrait of Ria Munk III, 1917

This painting is the third and final  in a series of three portraits commissioned by the Munk family of their daughter Ria. It is one of the last and most modern of Klimt’s full-length female portraits, and offers a glimpse into the artist's evovling style. The lavishly 
decorated background draws on his passion for Eastern art and 
iconography of which he was an avid collector.  
°      °     °      °      °      °      °
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II, 1907

According to curatorial notes,
"The exhibition will include approximately
12 paintings, 40 drawings, 40 works of
decorative art, and vintage photographs
of Klimt, drawn from public and private
collections worldwide. Central to the
exhibition will be the display of Portrait of
Adele Bloch-Bauer I and Portrait of Adele
Bloch-Bauer II, which will be shown side-
by-side for the first time since 2006."

Much more to come -- hats, aesthetic fashion, Klimt's muse Emilie Flöge ♥ --  
after I've seen the show! 

"Whoever wants to know something about me – as an artist which alone is significant – 
they should look attentively at my pictures and there seek to recognize 
what I am and what I want." 
                                                             ... Gustav Klimt 

~ oOo ~


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