Egon SchieleAustrian, 1890–1918
Starr Figura, German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, 2011
Painter and precociously talented draftsman; accepted into Vienna's Academy of Fine Arts in 1906 at age sixteen. From 1907 was mentored by Gustav Klimt, who invited him to exhibit at monumental 1909 Kunstschau exhibition. From 1910, works characterized by virtuosic use of line in penetrating portraits with expressive, contorted, sexually explicit bodies. Lived in small towns of Krumau and Neulengbach from 1910 to 1911, and scandalized the locals with his bohemian, licentious lifestyle. Briefly jailed in 1912, charged with seducing a minor; judge publicly burnt one of his drawings in court.
In 1911 Munich-based Sema artists' group's portfolio project provided impetus to try printmaking, which important patron, critic Arthur Roessler, also encouraged. Appreciated printmaking for potential financial rewards; disliked its technical complexity. Made only seventeen prints: seven lithographs, six etchings, two woodcuts, and four rubbercuts; many published posthumously. Preferred ease of drawing; was prolific in pencil or crayon, often with watercolor. Drafted into Austrian army in 1915. Eventually transferred to a desk job, where he could draw and paint. Exhibition at Vienna Secession in March 1918 heralded financial and critical success. Seven months later, at age twenty-eight, succumbed to the influenza pandemic, three days after his pregnant wife.
Kallir, Jane. Egon Schiele: Life and Work. New York: Abrams, 2003.
Kallir, Jane. Egon Schiele: The Complete Works. New York: Abrams, 1990.
Price, Renée, ed. Egon Schiele: The Ronald S. Lauder and Serge Sabarsky Collections. Exh. cat. New York: Neue Galerie, 2005.