Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Artwork of the month: Egon Schiele.

Egon Schiele was an expressionist during a time when expressionism was new and innovative. For the most part expressionist works today are worthless decoration.  I explored the ideas of expressionistic oil painting early in my career and eventually rejected it.  Expressionism is an ism that I grew to detest, then appreciate, then pass off as a phase, then start to enjoy again.  Nonetheless, Schiele was clearly an innovative artist with uninhibited erotic desires.  The majority of his subject matter are erotic nudes.

Egon Schiele
Austrian, 1890-1918
"Portrait of Paris von G├╝tersloh"
1918, oil on canvas

Egon Schiele died from influenza in 1918 before completing this painting.  Regardless, this unfinished painting is a masterpiece.  The subject, Paris von G├╝tersloh, a painter, writer, actor, producer, etc, was a friend Schiele admired for his prolific and expansive career in the arts.  This being the last painting Schiele worked on is a treat to look at because we have a chance to see the process of his work.  It is display at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

"I do not deny that I have made drawings and watercolors of an erotic nature. But they are always works of art. Are there no artists who have done erotic pictures?"
-Egon Schiele

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