Gustav Klimt's Female Muses Unite For Upcoming Retrospective
Despite the tragic erasure of female artists up until the late Twentieth Century (yikes!), women always fueled the creative imaginations of white male painters across Europe. The notion of the muse dates back to ancient Greek mythology, when Zeus’ magnificently beautiful daughters inspired the works of practitioners everywhere. Gustav Klimt, the Austrian symbolist painter revered by wannabe quirky Tumblr kids worldwide, is perhaps the most infamous perpetrator of the female muse, having lured an array of women he desired with the prospect of being painted by him.
Now, all the women of Klimt’s life are coming together for the first time—talk about awkward—for an upcoming retrospective, entitled Gustav Klimt and the Women of Vienna’s Golden Age, 1900-1918. And this time around, we’re not really concentrating on Klimt. Rather, the focus is on the women whose names are oftentimes forgotten, and whose faces are forever frozen inside some Western society’s most sanctified pieces of art.
Among the many women featured in the retrospective is Adele Bloch-Bauer, who is famed as the only muse to have two full-length portraits of herself by Klimt. The duo of pieces, “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I” (1907) and “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II”(1912), haven’t been in the same room for over a decade, and will be pitted side-be-side come September. Other subjects who will be celebrated inside the exhibition include Gertha Loew (1902), Mäda Primavesi (1912), Szerena Lederer (1899) and her daughter Elisabeth Lederer (1914–16).
Spectators visiting Gustav Klimt and the Women of Vienna’s Golden Age, 1900-1918, will be granted the insight of the untold histories of some of the world’s most prized muses, which, in the end, is just as equally important in our understanding of the artist himself.
“Gustav Klimt and the Women of Vienna’s Golden Age, 1900-1918” will be open from September 22, 2016 – January 16, 2017 at the Neue Galerie in New York.
Stay tuned to Milk for more on art history’s erasure of women.
Images via Neue Galerie