31 May – 31 July 2020, 09:30 am – 10 pm
Vincom Center for Contemporary Art (VCCA)
B1-R3, Vincom Mega Mall Royal City
72A Nguyễn Trãi, Thanh Xuân, Hà Nội
Artwork of Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele in a Precarious Era
Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele were contemporaries who were based in Vienna in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It can be said that during the Viennese Modern Age, a unique environment existed in Vienna. With the shadow of World War I looming, the radical changes of Europe were concentrated in this city. This environment not only fostered Klimt and Schiele, but also architects such as Adolf Loos and Otto Wagner, musical composers such as Arnold Schönberg and Alban Berg, literary figures such as Karl Kraus and Robert Musil, the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein and the founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud.
Klimt rebelled against academic education and the conservative art world. As the driving force behind the Wiener Secession, which could be said to be the summit of experimental artists at the time, he continued to lead the way in emerging artistic expression. In his subject matter, many of his paintings reflect a strong sense of eroticism, life and death, and he also took the initiative to develop the function of painting as decoration. Schiele looked up to the older Klimt and was greatly influenced by him. Schiele’s talent, however, was far different from Klimt’s. Rather than aesthetic refinement, he pursued simple yet dynamic paintings that put everything into vital strokes.
World War I (1914 – 1918) was the first war in human history in which people and goods moved back and forth globally, leading to a pandemic: the Spanish flu, which broke out in the U.S. in 1918, crossed the Atlantic Ocean with American troops advancing on Europe. After the second and third waves of the pandemic converged in 1920, 25-30% of the world’s population had been infected, with 17 million deaths by some estimates and 100 million deaths by others. In 1918, Klimt and Schiele both died from the infectious disease.
About the exhibition:
This exhibition presents the work of the two artists through high-definition digital images. Each image is of a different size and displayed on different devices such as a projector, a TV monitor, a computer, and a mobile phone. Because of this, the physical distance between you and the image will inevitably differ each time. For your protection and that of others, there will be a fluorescent tape grid on the floor as a guide for social distancing, i.e. two meters apart.
It’s commonly said that seeing is believing. Seeing can also turn into possessing, consuming, and sometimes being stupefied. In our age of social media and almost limitless image accessing, hopefully this exhibition can also help us reflect on seeing, the way we see, how we see, and how our way of seeing can be affective as well as infective in our time.
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| Vincom Center for Contemporary Art (VCCA)|
B1 – R3, Vincom Mega Mall Royal City
72A Nguyen Trai, Thanh Xuan District, Hanoi