Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Schiele as Joy Division

One of the most insightful blog postings on Schiele and his enduring - but alternative - charm can be found here.

Some choice cuts from Take Art:

"Sexuality burns through his paintings like a fever whereas Klimt has more of a satisfied glow. Schiele is a confrontational painter — his subjects looking straight at the viewer in a way that seems, to me at least, to be markedly different from how the people in Klimt’s paintings watch you, make you complicit in whatever they are doing, or mutely acknowledge you as some kind of voyeur.

"The figures are more angular, seem less comfortable. Schiele’s work seems less rooted in a kind of bourgeois bohemia and as a result escapes the trap of history that some of his contemporaries are burdened with. His work is very modern and by that I mean that it still seems fresh and full of vitality, a leanness of stroke and effortless conversion of thought and movement into image.

You look at one of his paintings and you can hardly imagine him over-working a piece (I speculate here, he may have been as troubled in his process as everyone else; his life hardly seems to have been perfect). There is an immediacy to the work though, and whereas Klimt might fit nicely with some smooth cocktail jazz Schiele always made me think of Joy Division.

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