Review: Facing the Modern

Water Water Everywhere

Wondering past a downpour of what look like a broken water pipe spilling its contents on to employees in the cloak room; I had just paid to enter at the National Gallery. I make the comment that I would not leave my coat and bag, the receptionist agrees. I had gone to see what was to be a sublime show which was a nice surprise.

Portrait pictures by various artists some known others lesser in Vienna 1900. It was a period where the middle class immigrant were establishing in cities. Migration a common place, as is now it flows where opportunity calls and we should not fear it but embrace it. It was then Imperial Austria-Hungary one of largest countries in Europe; the home of Freud. Art was approaching a new era where it would change in a big way. One can see the move towards this in the show where the art is starting to take on new concepts, expression. Meeting head on the ideas of a new type of society that had different aspirations, thoughts and the usual excitement of a modern city.

My estimation of Klimt has gone up even more. He truly was an all round painter, there are few artists who could paint the ‘Portrait of a Lady in Black’ or a miniature of a ‘Young girl seated’ in such detail. The quality and sound knowledge of the figure is just the start of what is required he was a Master painter there are no doubts left. Then there were artists Egon Shiele, Anton Romako, Hans Makart, Broncia Koller, Teresa Ries, Isido Kaufmann and so on all extremely good.

There is still time to motivate yourself out into what is pretty dismal weather but you will not be disappointed. By the time I had been through the show twice and walked up the stairs three workmen seemed to have the situation of the gushing water under control. So never mind the water water everywhere.

Exhibition started back in October and is due to finish on 12th January 2014 in the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery. Still Time!

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