Gustav Klimt is one of my most favorite painters. In fact, I could say that when I first discovered him, it was around the time when I first felt like an independent, continental, adventurer. I was head over heels in love with someone who has remained a life long friend, and the combination of all the beauty of Europe, it's history, art and my emotion, well you know, it was a perfect storm...
Klimt is important to me. He was expressive. Like myself, he did large murals and expressive paintings on many sizes of canvas, he combined some realities, with his decorative expressionism. He really put the glitz and glamour of life back into his portraiture and ventured into a place where it was all about the enduring beauty of love, often the female body and nature.
There are times in your life when you have the opportunity to see something for the first time, in its natural state. Not as a picture in an art history book or a rendition by another artist, but the authentic piece. When I was 20, this painting, The Kiss, smacked me upside the head in the Belvedere Palace in Vienna. I loved it and appreciated the enormity of it. I had been originally trained in design so I liked the way design and abstract ornamentation overtook the realistic faces and brought more emotion than reality to the picture. I liked that; it is sometimes exactly how I think and experience things. I was intrigued and interested in who this artist was. I knew when I came back to the states that he would soon be very popular there. It was not long after I had discovered him, that people in the US discovered him too.
This man's work had been around for many years, Klimt having died in 1918, at age 55. I think it was how cultural experiences opened up in our nation, the U.S. that caused him to be popular. He was very free, liberated. His work conveys on many levels a frank eroticism, especially his drawings.
Years later, as a mother, I taught about artists in the elementary school. I introduced various artists and their styles to children throught stories, pictures and activities. I did teach about Klimt, but there were aspects of his art that were not appropriate to introduce to small children, however, he was a very brilliant personality and painter and his work, overall is witness to that brilliance. I brought the children a poster to share of the Mada Primavesi painting, among other landscapes and flower works of his. There was an investigation into what I was doing because one of the women, also familiar with Klimt was alarmed at what I would be sharing regarding his work. I had many voluteers when I was head of this program who would teach off my materials so that every student had the opportunity to learn. I would select the artists, compile the lessons, activities and props and teach the volunteers, as well as teach my own groups of students. It was a huge undertaking. In the end, all was well. The woman who complained was soothed, and honestly in turn appreciated the depth with which the children would be acquainted with Klimt without his "adult" themes.
Mada Primavesi - Gustav Klimt
Österreichische Galerie Belvedere
The current location of "The Kiss".
Klimt spent most of his life in Vienna. His best-known painting "The Kiss" can now be seen at the Vienna Belvedere. And this particular Kiss changed the world. The picture and Gustav Klimt stand for the Modern era, an epoch that was trendsetting.
The Kiss - Gustav Klimt
Adele Bauer Bloch
Judith - Gustav Klimt
Nine of Vienna's most important art dealers have teamed up to celebrate the 150th birthday of Gustav Klimt. The aim is to shed light not only on Klimt's works, but also on his cultural political significance and his influence on the production of art in the Viennese modern era. The Vienna Secession as an institution for visual art stands together with the Wiener Werkstätte for an epoch whose international importance was considerable and which is described to this day as a "Golden Age".
Many of you may have read pieces I had done on Klimts works before. They are no longer on OS, however, I do plan on releasing them in a collection in the future. This post is still available on OS, and it also contains information about Klimt.
Images from Wikipedia unless otherwise noted.
it´s now or never:
Vienna is celebrating Klimt´s 150th birthday with a huge variety of exhibitions (some of his works have never been shown in public).
Have a look at the following collection of links:
Including this video:
Me, Klimting myself! You can do it too!
Check out the email links in this post for the event and you will find the "Klimt Yourself" application.
Another new link:
Copyright 2012 words and pictures by SheilaTGTG55