• gerard van weyenbergh

Egon Schiele, fragments of a life.

In 1908, by a happy combination of circumstances, Gustav Klimt and his friends who left the Secession organized a Kunstschau (art exhibition), where one hundred and seventy-five artists, painters, sculptors or graphic artists were invited to exhibit in more than fifty rooms. and pavilions, some designed by Josef Hoffmann.Klimt sits there with sixteen of his last works staged by Koloman Moser around the famousKiss.All bathed in the refined and discreet aesthetics of the Wiener Werkstätte (Viennese Atelier).The only discordant note, the young Oskar Kokoschka, aged twenty-two, introduces his dreamlike world of erotic and violent impulses: " Nothing is missing from this Barnum of art, not even the cage of wild beasts Comments a critic.This Barnum reveals Schiele to himself.He slams the door of the Academy, joins the following year the " cage with the wild beasts " with four paintings and founds with some friends the ephemeral group Neukunstgruppe in the anarchist program: " There is no new art, there has new artists… the new artist must necessarily be himself, he must be creative and must, without intermediary, without having recourse to the heritage of the past, build, absolutely alone, the foundations. Applying these principles, Schiele takes herself as a model and field of experimentation.The classical aesthetic is destroyed in favor of primitivist or even "Gothic " visions According to his first critic Arthur Roessler.Harmony is followed by suffering, " noble simplicity " Schiele opposes an ignoble complexity, " calm grandeur ", a restless smallness.Hands and eyes twitch.Tendons, muscles and bones tend to pierce the skin.The form becomes dehumanized in geometric patterns.As if the life of the drives, hardly suspected, should be rejected and corseted in a plastic straitjacket.He applies the same treatment to his female models, in which the klimtian curvatures are erased, somecontrappostieven playing with right angles.On his first commissioned portraits, tensions and jolts imprint unexpected folds on modern costumes, letting the hallucinated heads of the models emerge.

But this vision of the body is exacerbated in Schiele by occult experiences of duplication and visions, as inAutoportrait avec le double.In a letter of September 1911 addressed to Oskar Reichel and starting with the words " I have become a scientist",he describes the evolution of the worlds and his role as witness, creator, even at the cost of sacrifice:“I see myself evaporating and exhaling ever more strongly, the vibrations of my astral light always become faster, more immediate, simpler, similar to those of a great initiate of the world[…]I am so rich that I have to permanently offer myself. " Article in Connaissance des Arts

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