Saturday, July 7, 2018

The Met Breuer, Egon Schiele and Nude Nymphet Watercolors

We went to The Met Breuer to see three Egon Schiele pieces that are exhibited in the Obsession: Nudes by Klimt, Schiele, and Picasso from the Scofield Thayer Collection. 

Here's an excerpt from The Met Breuer's Exhibition Overview:

This exhibition at The Met Breuer presents a selection of some fifty works from The Met's Scofield Thayer Collection—a collection that is best known for paintings by artists of the school of Paris, and a brilliant group of erotic and evocative watercolors, drawings, and prints by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Pablo Picasso, whose subjects, except for a handful, are nudes. The exhibition is the first time these works have been shown together, and provides a focused look at this important collection; it also marks the centenary of the deaths of Klimt and Schiele.

Below are the three Schiele pieces with descriptions from the museum:

Seated Nude Girl Clasping Her Left Knee (1918)

"Here, the young daughter of one of Schiele's models shields her nudity with a pulled-up knee, unlike in the lithograph of Girl (1918) [...]"

Girl (1918)

"The girl leans her head pensively on what might be a pillow, and by opening her legs unselfconsciously reveals her pubic area. Seemingly oblivious to the implication and potential reception of the girl's exposure." ["Seemingly" is probably a fitting word, because there's a chance that the girl was not "oblivious".]

Standing Nude Girl, Facing Left (1918)

"Here, the same daughter of one of Schiele's models appears in three-quarter profile."

To put the three pieces into perspective, it may help to read Jeanette Zwingenberger's description of Schiele's Two Girls (Lovers) (1911) in her book Egon Schiele.

Two Girls (Lovers) (1911) 

Coupled with The Met Breuer's admission that the watercolors are "erotic and evocative" and Zwingenberger's admission that Schiele had an "obsession with all aspects of the erotic", it's very safe to say that The Met Breuer has sided with art, in the art versus [child] pornography debate.