Egon Sheile *Extra Credit*

After reading the article Five Things You Might Not Know About Egon Schiele by Daisy Woodward, I know that Egon Sheil was an Expressionism artist. When I hear Expressionism, it will remind me of painter Vincent Van Gogh. To tell you the truth, I never know Egon Sheil before. When I look at some of Sheil’s figurative painting, I am so surprised that his nude figurative paintings are highly expressive and most of the models were twisting their body. When I am looking at his painting, the colors he used sometimes express the enthusiasm to the sexuality, eroticism, and mortality.

I compared his self-portrait with the photograph of Schiele. I found that he was more handsome than how he drew himself. His self-portrait appeals me to doing more research about him. Schiele was born in 1890 in Tulln, Lower Austria. As a child, Schiele was fascinated by trains and would spend many hours drawing them. At the age of 11 years old, Schiele moved to Krems and was regarded as a strange child: shy and reserved. He behaved poorly at school except in athletics and drawing. Schiele was precocious and had sex with her younger sister at his age of 16.

His father died from syphilis when Schiele was 15 years old. His uncle wanted him to be a railway official, but he recognized Schiele’s talent for drawing and allowed him a tutor:  the artist Ludwig Karl Strauch. In 1906 Schiele studied at the Kunstgewerbeschul( School and Arts and Crafts). In the same years, Schile was sent to more traditional   Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna. His main teacher at the academy was Christian Griepenkerl. Schile was unsatisfied with his teacher’s strict doctrine and ultra-conservative style, so three years later he left.

Showing his talent in young age, Schiele was interested in Gustav Klimt, who generously mentored younger artists. Klimt bought Schiele’s drawing, arranged models for him and introduced him to the Wiener Werkstätte, the arts and crafts workshop connected with the Secession. In 1908 Shiele had his first exhibition and founded the New Art Group in 1909.

His work was very daring at that time. His figurative distortions included elongations, deformities, and sexual openness. In that conservative period, he bravely expressed his desire to sexuality. I think he was an evolutionary fighter at some point.

Let’s take Woman with Black Stockings as an example. Through his highly expressive portraiture, I can not only feel the strong sexual passion from Schiele but also can guess Shiele was imaging the woman was willing to have sex with him. Through how he dressed his model and how he posed his model, I can feel his fascination of the female form.

Egon Schiele (Extra Credit)

Before starting this assignment, I had never heard of Egon Schiele. I was aware of the works of Expressionist artists such as Franz Marc and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, but after observing some of Schiele’s work, his use of twisted body shapes and expressive lines mark the artist as an Expressionist as well. He is noted for his intensity and raw sexuality. Just at first glance, Schiele’s paintings are so striking that you find yourself observing his work for a long period of time. His earlier work also resembles that of Gustav Klimt and Vincent Van Gogh. To my surprise, Klimt saw great talent in Schiele and took time to mentor him. He introduced the young artist to models, patrons, and other artists such as Van Gogh. Klimt even went so far as to buying some of his paintings and organizing several exhibitions for the for Schiele.

Looking through his vast collection of work, I couldn’t help but notice his self portraits. Unlike his mentor, Klimt, Schiele produced a great number of self-portraits, that showed his interest in sexual expression and suggested a narcissistic personality. With his sudden and untimely death at the young age of 27, his self-portraits give more insight into his life and personality than any other first hand source. “Self-Portrait with Chinese Lantern Plant” is one of his most notably famous works of art. Call it narcissism or confidence, Schiele’s smug gaze at the viewer suggests pride in his artistic talent. But even though he seems to be very proud himself and all he has accomplished so far, the young artist features scars on his face and less aggressive contour.

One word that best describes Expressionistic art would be emotion, which does not lack in Egon Schiele’s work. Vivid imagery, irregular and disjointed contours, and grotesque abstractions of the human figure, best describes his personal artistic style which is held up by the emotions that assist the young artist to express himself creatively.
“Everything is dead while it lives.”

Egon Schiele Extra Credit

Egon Schiele was born in 1890 and died in 1918 to the Spanish Flu at the age of 28, just as his artistry career began to become noticed. Schiele once went to an academy for art and dropped out when he was 16 and created the New Art Group in return. Artists during the time of his career did not normally create pieces on par with his, most artists conveyed much context, colors, and either used smooth lines or had certain shapes and angles. During the 1900s you had many forms of art like, Cubism, Bauhaus, Surrealism, and Abstract Expressionism. Schiele’s art is considered Expressionism, but compared to the many paintings and drawings of Expressionism in the 1900s, his work stands out completely. In his time Schiele was unique, so unique that those around him in Vienna looked down on him and thought the art he created was absurd. He rejected the ideal art forms and boundaries many placed. In 1907 Schiele sought out Gustav Klimt, an artist he learned about during the time in academy, and worked with him. Klimt enjoyed Schiele and mentored him, as well as buying Schiele’s paintings and setting up exhibitions or models for him and shared similar interests.

Schiele was drawn to the scant and fragile nature of humans in the nude with unusual poses and angles. Plenty of his drawings use white space and contour lines to express the model and possibly their inner emotions, with some distortions of lengths in limbs and even reality. Some of his models were friends, prostitutes, family or himself. Schiele was obsessed with the female form and had drawn many women, including having 180 women through his studio at one time. Eventually, he married Edith Harms, who modeled often for Schiele, but when his wife began to gain weight, he sought out other women to fill his desire, including her sister.

His work has the potential to look absurd to viewers. Although, by many artists in this modern era he is praised for his nude paintings. The line work that Schiele does is twisted and perhaps contorted, it draws the attention of those who are themselves twisted and mangled in their own lives. His chaotic pieces are inviting to those who too are chaotic, while for others it calls out the unexpected.  One of his pieces called “Death and The Maiden” created in 1915 is a painting that caught my eye. At first it looks like a mess, but it has a lot of emotional detail woven into it. I wasn’t quite sure who I was looking at or what exactly was going on but I did see two people holding onto one another dearly. This human interaction was portrayed very well, even without knowing a back story it told its own altogether, and that’s what I like about Schiele’s art. If it’s with a few contour lines, his drawing moves such emotions to viewers and connects to many people in a particular way.

Week 2 Reading Discussion

One of the concepts that Bridgeman discusses is balance (p.33). Balance in the drawing is like Pendulum, that moves back and forth but always comes back in the center. When drawing a human body, I often forget that, whether the pose is bent or twisted, there has to be ‘ gravity’ that balances the human body. I think it also shows the weight of the body. After reading this, i realized the importance of feet. I think feet show the most of the body’s balance and weight.