Monday, 8 June 2015

Review of Tracey Emin | Egon Schiele: Where I Want to Go at the Leopold Museum, Vienna

Leopold Museum, Vienna
24 April – 14 September 2015

When Tracey Emin (b1963) was still a teenager in Margate, accumulating many of the experiences that continue to feed into her self-exploratory and self-revelatory work today, she discovered turn-of-the-century Austrian expressionist Egon Schiele (1890-1918) and “instantly fell in love”. Fixated on David Bowie’s album covers for Heroes (1977) and Lodger (1979), she was told by her then boyfriend that they were influenced by Schiele’s art. A trip to the local bookshop soon broadened her horizons.

“A lot of other art that I had been exposed to up until this point was about artists looking at other things and other people,” she says. “Egon Schiele appeared to be intensely looking at himself emotionally as well as physically. It was like his physical being was pulsating.” It became Emin’s lifelong ambition to exhibit alongside Schiele and, with this fabulous show, her dream has come true. Curated by Diethard Leopold and Karol Winiarczyk, it showcases around 50 works by Emin – her first exhibition in Austria – and 15 drawings and poems by Schiele, selected by Emin to bring about a poetic debate between the two artists.

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