Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Review of Klimt and Antiquity: Erotic Encounters at the Lower Belvedere, Vienna

Klimt and Antiquity: Erotic Encounters
Lower Belvedere, Vienna
23 June – 8 October 2017

In 1898, Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) designed the poster for the first exhibition held by the newly founded Vienna secession, of which he was a founding member and president. The depiction of the Greek hero Theseus wrestling the Minotaur symbolised the intention of the young avant-garde movement to break with the past and rebel against the out-dated structures of the Künstlerhaus. On the right-hand-side, standing watch is the figure of Pallas Athena, the goddess of wisdom, craft, and war in ancient Greek mythology. Turned thus into a sphinx-like demon, an image that was repeated on the catalogue for this first exhibition, as well as on bookplates for the movement, the goddess emerged as the patron saint and symbol of the Vienna secession. Klimt’s use of symbolism embodied one of its key ideals.

Read the full review here

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