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Category: Exhibition 12. September 2021

The Albertina Modern is currently using 21 self-portraits by Egon Schiele - in exciting confrontation with contemporary positions - to show the extent to which the radical aesthetic of the great Austrian painter has had an impact on subsequent generations.

Curated by Elisabeth Dutz, Schiele's works from the Albertina's own collections will be juxtaposed with works by twelve artists of the 20th century, such as Arnulf Rainer with his Face Farces, Maria Lassnig with her body awareness paintings, and Jim Dine with his own self-portraits.

Egon Schiele's self-portraits, controversial at the time, make Schiele's identity ambiguous in his work. Schiele was deeply rooted in his epoch and its cultural and moral codes, and counterposed his own "aesthetics of ugliness" to it and its cult of beauty.

The assembled positions in the show are extremely diverse, humorous like Erwin Wurm's "One Minute Sculpture" of himself with a banana in his mouth, political like Valie Export's, or tragic like Jim Dine's self-portraits documenting his aging process. This aspect is missing in the work of Egon Schiele, who died young. The reference to his art as a precursor, however, becomes vividly apparent to the visitor in the various works.

The question remains whether Schiele wanted to shock and snub the audience of the time or if he was in search of revealing a deeper universal truth. Probably both. (written by Cem Angeli)

The exhibition "Schiele and his Legacy" at the Albertina runs through January 23, 2022, and is accompanied by a catalog of the same name. (19,90 €)

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