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Lucian Freud’s Naked Truth

Lucian Freud’s Naked Truth

The poster causes double-takes all over town. It shows a painting with two figures lying naked together. Their faces and bodies are twisted away from one another, the man lies confidently like someone who has been satisfied, and the woman is curled up, on the edge of the bed. My first impression was the uneasy […]

Going on a Gut Feeling: The New Cancer Treament

Going on a Gut Feeling: The New Cancer Treament

On 6 May, coincidentally the 157th birthday of Sigmund Freud, the ornate Festsaal of the Austrian Academy of Sciences was in full swing (with classical music tribute and a cocktails reception to boot) to welcome the President of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (also knighted) Hans Clevers for the 7th annual Landsteiner […]

1913: Vienna’s Cultural Soup

1913: Vienna’s Cultural Soup

A century ago, Adolf Hitler, Leon Trotsky, Marshal Tito, Sigmund Freud and Joseph Stalin all lived in central Vienna. This week on the BBC, Editor in Chief of The Vienna Review, Dardis McNamee explained why 1913 Vienna attracted these zealous individuals. “While not exactly a melting pot, Vienna was its own kind of cultural soup, attracting the […]

The Gate Crasher: Im Kinsky a rear window on art

The Gate Crasher: Im Kinsky a rear window on art

Entering the grand carriage way of the Palais Kinsky, into the Stiegenhaus past the gauntlet of magnificent Baroque statuary up the grand stairway, I was stunned, as is often the case in Vienna, by the surrounding opulence. These palaces have that effect – the kind of red carpeted, marbled luxury that makes you conscious of […]

Edmund de Waal speaks at Palais Epstein

Edmund de Waal speaks at Palais Epstein

Here I am in Vienna. I feel at home. This palais seems about the right size. It has certainly got the appropriate amount of gilding, and the marble seems familiar. I’m happy to see the caryatids and the mouldings and that the ceilings are lively with good painting. The view from the windows is grand […]

Freud and Almodovar at the French Institute

Freud and Almodovar at the French Institute

The French often talk about thought as if it were a contagious disease – like my one-time literature professor, who would say, “Il y a des idées dans l’air!” There are ideas in the air! And so it seemed at the conference “Art and the Body – How Hysteria is Viewed in the 21st Century” […]

Servitenviertel – Backstreets for Émigrés

Servitenviertel – Backstreets for Émigrés

From the U-Bahn at Schottentor and onwards up Liechtensteinstraße, Vienna begins to change. Away from the busy intersection, it is suddenly peaceful, except for the muffled footsteps of passers-by and the distant hum of the cars from the Ring. This is the Servitenviertel – lying between the Währinger Straße to the south, Roßauer Lände to […]

Screening Sigmund

The grainy black and white image flickers uncertainly on the screen. It shows an elderly man in a three-piece tweed suit, settled comfortably into a garden chair, his head resting on a heavy, ornamented cushion. But there is a nerviness about him; he utters an unheard word, twitches his head to check whether the camera […]

Beyond Freud’s Playground

It’s May 6, the 155th anniversary of the birth of Sigmund Freud. I arrive at the Austrian National Bank just before 17:30 to attend the 38th annual Sigmund Freud Lecture, given this year by American novelist Siri Hustvedt. First held in 1970, this event is in truth something just short of annual. Admittedly, “annual” does […]

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