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Nudes galore at Emin and Schiele show

The Local · 24 Apr 2015, 11:53

Published: 24 Apr 2015 11:53 GMT+02:00

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The show at the city's Leopold Museum incorporates around 50 of Emin's often highly sexualized works alongside around 15 similar, if tamer, drawings and poems by Schiele.

Emin, 51 - best known for her My Bed work shown at the Tate Gallery in 1999 - said the aim of the exhibition was to liberate both her work and that of the Austrian artist, a contemporary of Gustav Klimt and Oskar Kokoschka.

"Schiele is kind of stuck between 1900 and 1918 and he's never released," Emin said in the Austrian capital, adding that his works were often shown all bunched up in galleries, turning spectators into "nodding dogs".

"I wanted to release Schiele from that. I wanted people to be able to breathe when they saw his work. I wanted his work to breathe... and I wanted my work to resonate and be shown next to his," she told reporters.

"I feel my work is pigeonholed in Britain in the 1990s, and I feel his work is pigeonholed in Vienna in the 1900s. I think (this exhibition) is a really good dialogue between us and in a way it's quite beautiful."

The project, the Leopold says, allows Emin to "venture into uncharted territory.... (It) should not be a mere juxtaposition of works by two great artists, but rather the venue of a poetic debate between them."

"I wonder if he knows if I am here," said Emin, explaining she first became aware of the Austrian as a teenager admiring the Schiele-influenced covers of the David Bowie albums Heroes (1977) and Lodger (1979).

"I wonder if he (Schiele) is aware that we are showing his work in a completely different way that has never been shown before. I wonder if he is in agreement, I wonder if he is angry," she said.

Story continues below…

The exhibition, titled 'Where I want to go', runs until September 14.

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