THE WOMAN QUESTION: Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka explores three Austrian masters of Modernism and their shared fixation on the female body. The artists’ work reflects turn-of-the-century Vienna’s preoccupation with gender relations, which at the time were undergoing a radical transformation. More than 60 paintings, watercolors and drawings reveal how the three artists probed and defined modern sexual identity.
Gustav Klimt (1862-1918), Egon Schiele (1890-1918), and Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980) each approached what was then commonly referred to as the “woman question” in slightly different, albeit overlapping, ways. The exhibition focuses on four principal subjects: the formal portrait, the nude, the couple and the mother. Klimt’s sensuous, flattering drawings of women contrast with the contorted bodies depicted by Kokoschka. Schiele’s nudes were so provocative that some could not, at the time, be publically exhibited.
Many of the works in THE WOMAN QUESTION were part of a major exhibition at Vienna’s Belvedere Museum, curated by Jane Kallir, co-director of Galerie St. Etienne. That exhibition, which had a four-month run ending February 28, 2016, was one of the most popular shows in the Belvedere’s history.
Galerie St. Etienne’s relationship with Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka goes back to the early 1920s. All were represented by Vienna’s Neue Galerie, founded by Otto Kallir, Jane Kallir’s grandfather. Soon after the Nazi invasion of Austria, Otto arrived in New York City with a small inventory in tow, eager to introduce these artists to America. He spent a lifetime nurturing their reputations with exhibitions, publications, donations and sales to America’s top museums. Jane, along with Otto’s longtime assistant, Hildegard Bachert, has continued to specialize in Austrian Expressionism. Jane Kallir is the author of the catalogue raisonné, Egon Schiele: The Complete Works, first published in 1990 and revised in 1998.
THE WOMAN QUESTION is accompanied by a detailed checklist and scholarly essay by Galerie St. Etienne Co-Director Jane Kallir. For further information and images, please contact Courtney Donner at 212-245-6734 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Galerie St. Etienne is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 AM to 5 PM, and other times by appointment. (Please note the gallery will be closed Saturdays beginning May 27.)