On occasion of Gustav Klimt’s 150th birthday, the Albertina in Vienna and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles have dedicated a special exhibition to this artist’s outstanding graphic work. This amply illustrated publication is the pinnacle of this project.
The specifically chosen context enables an inside approach towards Klimt’s work. His approximately 250 paintings are radiant, world-famous highlights. However, Klimt explored the essence of his main subjects – Eros and love, and life and death – in thousands of figure studies. Often these works exceed the paintings by far. In spite of their great number, each sheet is a world in itself.
This book underscores the independent value of the graphic achievements in the work of this artist who proved to be an unequalled master of the line in every phase of his development: from Historicism to Austrian Stilkunst around 1900 and the Golden Period, to the airy expressiveness of the late years.
Most of the works on display are derived from the Albertina which has been the centre of research and publication for Gustav Klimt’s drawings for many decades. They are supplemented by a selection of loaned exhibits. This wide spectrum of figure studies, vivid allegories and monumental preparatory drawings offers and unusually nuanced insight into this exceptional artist’s way of thinking and working.