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An Urban Festwochen Experience

An Urban Festwochen Experience

It was noon as I entered the ticket office of the Wiener Festwochen in Lehàrgasse 3a: The place was empty, and the guard was playing chess against himself. The festival had just begun, and I left laden with flyers and booklets. Since 1951, the Vienna festival courts natives and tourists, artists, amateurs and passionates, who […]

Book Review: Paul H. Simpson’s Flöge and Klimt – A Family Affair

Book Review: Paul H. Simpson’s Flöge and Klimt – A Family Affair

Who Was Emilie Flöge? So much has been written and said in this 150th anniversary year of Gustav Klimt’s birth that another book could easily test the endurance of even the most ardent Klimt follower. Still, an important part of the story has long remained untold: that of Emilie Flöge, the woman who is generally […]

What’s Causing the Klimt Craze?

In an anniversary year like 2012 when the whole world is celebrating Gustav Klimt, one might easily get annoyed with the over-exposure. Many of his works are susceptible to commercial re-packaging, and the artist’s personality is no less prone to kitsch: Klimt worked for an affluent bourgeoisie whose women he fascinated. Klimt too was inspired by his […]

Going for the Gold

Going for the Gold

The price of gold was relatively low on 14 Mar., which may account for the crowd at the coat check as the exhibition Gold opened at the Lower Belvedere. It was indeed seductive: Rooms and walls shined, sparkled, and glimmered with (often confusing) golden works of art, coming close to sensory overload. But maybe that’s […]

Book Review: Robert Whalen’s Sacred Spring

Book Review: Robert Whalen’s Sacred Spring

The ‘Sacred’ in Ver Sacrum The role of religion in fin de siècle Vienna would seem a closed case. As society escaped the grasp of the Church and the political landscape turned increasingly secular, one could safely assume that artists – the intellectual prophets of the changing times – had renounced God as an authority […]

Gustav Klimt: Breaking the Mold

In his time, many people didn’t know what to make of Gustav Klimt: To the romantics he was trapped in ornamentation, to the purists in symbols. He was called a “purveyor of perversities,” yet also “provincial”. Traditionalists dismissed him as decadent, once naturalist described him as merely “irritating”. But to a small circle of progressive […]

Wiener Secession Meets Venice at the Biennale 2011

Salzburg-born Markus Schinwald has been chosen to represent Austria at the 54th Venice Biennale, with the planned opening of the Austrian Pavilion set for Jun. 2. As is traditional, Austria, with a €400,000 budget for the conception, organization, and implementation of the exhibition, will be represented in 2011 by a single artist, exhibiting at the […]

Book Review: The Pornographer of Vienna, by Lewis Crofts and Arrogance, by Joanna Scott

The Prodigy of Sin Books discussed in this article: The Pornographer of Vienna by Lewis Crofts Arrogance: A Novel by Joanna Scott   In 1907, according to several accounts, a young student from the Academy of Fine Arts came to see the master Gustav Klimt, founder of the Vienna Secession. “Do I have talent?” asked […]

Power Grab at the Secession

Power Grab at the Secession

When Barbara Holub was elected president of the Wiener Secession in May 2006, she was ready to embark on a new era for the century-old artists’ cooperative. So how has it happened that just 14 months later the Secession’s board is falling apart, demanding new elections, and work on the Secession’s new programme has ground […]

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