VIENNA – A Viennese museum said on Tuesday it would be extending an exhibition of the work of Austrian artist Egon Schiele by four months to mark the 100th anniversary of the Austrian artist’s death.
Schiele, who died prematurely on Oct. 31, 1918 at the age of 28 of Spanish flu, has been the subject of a blockbuster exhibition at Vienna’s Leopold Museum which since opening to the public in February has already been viewed by 400,000 visitors.
Hans-Peter Wipplinger, the museum’s director, told EFE “This has been our most successful exhibition to date,” and as such the museum decided to extend its run until February 2019.
The Schiele exhibition houses a total of 65 paintings, 70 drawings, photographs, poems and manuscripts offering the viewer a rounded and in-depth understanding of his work.
The exhibition is curated chronologically taking visitors on a journey of Schiele’s many artistic periods in a celebration of artwork that is seemingly unaffected by the passage of time.
Schiele, a protege of Gustav Klimt, is often described as an early expressionist because of his use of fluid and flowing lines when depicting the human body, often naked and with explicit representations of genitalia and sexuality.
Schiele’s outspoken eroticism and sexuality provoked scandalous outrage and led to him being branded a degenerate artist by the Nazis, a label which meant his work went largely unnoticed for decades.
His unapologetic paintings have been banned as recently as last November when the London Underground and some German cities censored a Vienna Tourist Office advertising campaign whose billboards announced Schiele’s centenary by featuring two of his most famous nude paintings: his “Seated Male Nude (Self-Portrait)” from 1910 and “Girl With Orange Stockings” from 1914.
The office’s response was to cover up the offending genitalia with a banner that read: “Sorry, 100 years old but still too daring today.”
“Egon Schiele: The Jubilee Show” is set to run until March 10 at the Leopold Museum in Vienna.