Facing the Modern

The Portrait in Vienna 1900

Gemma Blackshaw; With a foreword by Edmund de Waal and contributions by Tag Gronberg, Julie Johnson, Doris Lehmann, Elana Shapira, Sabine Wieber, and Mary Costello

View Inside Price: $50.00


November 26, 2013
216 pages, 8 1/2 x 11 1/2
130 color illus.
ISBN: 9781857095616
Cloth

Published by National Gallery Company/Distributed by Yale University Press

An engaging look at how the middle classes of fin-de-siècleVienna used innovative portraiture to define their identity

During the great flourishing of modern art in fin-de-siècleVienna, artists of that city focused on images of individuals. Their portraits depict artists, patrons, families, friends, intellectual allies, and society celebrities from the upwardly mobile middle classes. Viewed as a whole, the images allow us to reconstruct the subjects’ shifting identities as the Austro-Hungarian Empire underwent dramatic political changes, from the 1867 Ausgleich (Compromise) to the end of World War I. This is viewed as a time when the avant-garde overthrew the academy, yet Facing the Modern tells a more complex story of the time through thought-provoking texts by numerous leading art historians. Their writings examine paintings by innovative artists such as Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, and Egon Schiele alongside earlier works, blurring the conventionally-held distinctions between 19th-century and early-20th-century art, and revealing surprising continuities in the production and consumption of portraits. This compelling book features works not only by famous names but also by lesser-known female and Jewish artists, giving a more complete picture of the time.

Gemma Blackshaw is associate professor of history of art and visual culture at Plymouth University.


EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

The National Gallery, London
(10/09/13–01/12/14)