Egon Schiele

Sabarsky, Author, Serge Sabarsky, Author Rizzoli International Publications $30 (224p) ISBN 978-0-8478-0587-7
Here is a rarity, an exhibition catalogue that stands on its own as a cohesive, highly readable monograph. When Schiele, just 28, and his pregnant wife both died from influenza in 1918, he had already achieved a measure of fame as a leader of the Viennese avant-garde. But his reputation quickly faded. It took a later generation to rediscover the Austrian Expressionist painter as an explorer of the unconscious, an investigator of sexuality in the same milieu that produced Freud, Schnitzler and Mahler. After a profile by Sabarsky of Schiele's short life, Robert Waissenberger offers an essay on turn-of-the-century Vienna, a city haunted by ""a perpetual feeling of irreversible loneliness.'' Achille Bonito Olivia, in another essay, views Schiele as an artist who lived in harmony with his culture's ``existential climate.'' There are disarming insights into Schiele's figures, seething with narcissism and neurosis, ``suspended between life and death, desire and indifference.'' The 185 excellent color plates and 28 halftones convey the nervous energy of Schiele's prophetic art. The volume catalogues an exhibition held a year ago in Rome and Vienna. November 25
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
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