Fritza Riedler 1906
oil on canvas
152.0 x 134.0 cm
Melbourne Winter Masterpieces 2011
Stylish, provocative, rebellious, and unforgettable – the world has seen nothing like Vienna in 1900. A century ago, a group of radical young artists, architects, writers, musicians, designers and thinkers overturned all the rules and created a brave new world. Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Josef Hoffmann and Adolf Loos were central to this artistic revolution which transformed Vienna into a dynamic metropolis at the forefront of ground-breaking modernism.
Vienna at the dawn of the twentieth century was opulent, elegant and daring. Casting aside outmoded social mores and moralities, private life became public spectacle. Cabarets, coffee houses, and nightclubs teemed with radical debate and artistic abandon. Gustav Klimt’s society portraits immortalise the chic women who presided over this creative ferment. Josef Hoffmann and the Vienna Workshops created the bold new interior design and the household objects with which these women furnished their elegant homes, establishing the modern ‘look’. As Sigmund Freud defined sexual fragmentation and erotic obsession for a new millennium, Egon Schiele explored human sexuality in images of unparalleled and startling frankness.
Vienna: Art & Design will explore this extraordinary period of artistic and intellectual genius, bringing together more than 250 works of art, including painting, drawing, graphic and decorative art, furniture, fashion, jewellery and photography, most never before seen in Australia. Visitors will experience the inventiveness and brilliance of a unique generation who laid the foundations for life in the twentieth century - a legacy still vividly alive today.