Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Vienna Secession

Yesterday you read about Art Nouveau and the characteristics of art done in this style. Perhaps it would make more sense to post on the movement in Paris where artists most closely adhered to the definition of the style I gave yesterday but my interest has wandered to the Vienna Secession. This was basically the Art Nouveau movement as it happened in Austria.

In 1897 a group of artists in Vienna, Austria had had enough of mainstream art. They were tired of looking at and painting realistic scenes in the same style that had been used throughout history. They wanted something fresh. They wanted to use symbols in their art. They wanted to be able to paint idealized images in bright colors. So this group of artists separated from the Association of Austrian Artists and began their own society, called the Vienna Secession.

I told you yesterday that the Art Nouveau style was characterized by curvy, organic lines and that the art was often inspired by natural objects like Emile Galle’s Hand Surrounded by Algae and Shells. Because the members of the Vienna Secession were reacting against the more traditional artists of their area, they felt it was more important to have artistic freedom than to all create art in the same style. Their motto was, “To the Age its Art, to Art its Freedom.” The phrase was carved into their building and they felt free to create art as they pleased.

Below are paintings by several prominent members of the Vienna Secession. Notice the differences in styles between Richard Gerstl’s Self Portrait Laughing, Gustav Klimt’s The Tree of Life, and Oskar Kokoschka’s Bride of the Wind.


Peter said...

I did not know Gerstl. This self portrait is magic! Looked him up on Google for more!

Jessica said...

Wow. I'm pleased to finally post something new to you! I'll go more in depth on him but not just yet.

Anonymous said...

very helpful thanks!