To mark the centenary of the deaths of Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) and Egon Schiele (1890–1918), the MFA presents an exhibition of rarely seen drawings by the Austrian artists on loan from the Albertina Museum in Vienna. “Klimt and Schiele: Drawn” examines both the divergences and compelling parallels between the two artists—particularly in their provocative depictions of the human body. Nearly 30 years apart in age, Klimt and Schiele shared a mutual respect and admiration for each other’s talent. Yet, their work is decidedly different in appearance and effect: Klimt’s drawings are often delicate, while Schiele’s are frequently bold. Klimt often used these sheets as preparatory designs for paintings, while Schiele considered his drawings to be independent pictures and routinely sold them. Both deployed frank naturalism, unsettling emotional resonances, and disorienting omissions to challenge conventions and expectations in portraits, nudes, and allegories. Organized thematically, this selection of 60 drawings begins with the artists’ academic origins and then investigates how each shifted away from traditional training to more incisive and unconventional explorations of humanity. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated publication.
(Photo: Egon Schiele, Nude Self-Portrait (detail), 1910, watercolor and black chalk on wrapping paper, The Albertina Museum, Vienna)