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Exhibition of over 180 works at Pinacothèque de Paris explores The Vienna Secession
Josef Engelhart, Au restaurant du jardin, c. 1893. Huile sur bois, 28 x 26 cm © Belvédère, Vienna.

PARIS.- The Pinacothèque de Paris, in partnership with Arthemisia Group and 24 ORE Cultura - Gruppo 24 ORE, is once again exploring a fundamental aspect of Art Nouveau: the Secession, which developed in Vienna at the start of the 20th century. The leading exponent of this innovative breakaway movement was Gustav Klimt. The artist’s talent and brio, evident from his precocious debut to the opulent decoration of his mature works characterized by an abundance of gold, made him the driving force behind the evolution of the new current. Shortly afterwards the Secession triggered Expressionism, one of the major currents of modern art to which the Pinacothèque devoted an exhibition in 2011.

‘In the time of Klimt. The Vienna Secession’ traces in detail the development of the arts in Vienna from the end of the 19th century to the early years of Expressionism.

The show pivots on a selection of Klimt’s iconic works, from his early academic studies to the masterworks of his golden period. The Pinacothèque de Paris is proud to present two major works of the artist, the Judith I (1901) and the reconstitution of the Beethoven Frieze, which will not be able to be shown outside Austria for the next decade. The superb Study of a Woman with a Red Background by Gustav Klimt is presented in public for the first time.

The works are accompanied by a collection of rare documents that provide insight into the life of Klimt and his family, including his brothers Ernst and Georg, both important artists with whom Gustav often collaborated.

Particular attention is devoted to the early years of the Secession movement, the relationship with Paris and the influence of French artists, visible in the works of Carl Schuch, Tina Blau, Theodor Hörmann, Josef Engelhart and Max Kurzweil. This seminal experience – tellingly conveyed in the show by paintings on loan from the Belvedere and private collections – provided fertile ground for the development of the Secessionist movement. The exhibition continues with masterpieces by Secession artists, the Austrian avant-garde and early works by Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka.

The picture is completed by a section devoted to the flowering of the applied arts: from furniture – the product of an old and refined artisanal tradition – to precious jewels and splendid ceramics. These objects are accompanied by extensive documentation attesting to the genesis and evolution of great artists and architects of the period, such as Adolf Loos and Josef Hoffmann, and the Wiener Werkstätte.

The exhibition features over 180 works from the Belvedere musem in Vienna and private collections. The exhibition is arranged by Alfred Weidinger, the curator and vice director of the Belvedere.

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