280714: Leopold Museum: Trotzdem - Kunst

Leopold Museum Trotzdem - Kunst 09.05.2014 – 15.09.2014 Painting in time of war By Daniela Gregori One associates Sarajevo with several things, but not a city, as such, in the sense of a brochure of an urban situation. One thinks of Franz Ferdinand's blood-spattered uniform, and of the consequences. The XIV Olympic Winter Games may enter one's mind or the siege during the Bosnian war at the beginning of the 1990's. Now the banner "Sarajevo 84" by Marko Lulic is displayed on the facade of the Leopold Museum, one of the seven contemporary contributions to "TROTZDEM KUNST - Österreich 1914-1918" (Nonetheless – Art – Austria 1914 – 1918) And whilst musing about continuities and actualities, you come into the central gallery of the museum to Franz Kapfer's wonderful cardboard scenery installations "FÜR GOTT, KAISER UND VATERLAND” (FOR GOD, KAISER AND HOMELAND). Do the artistic pathos forms – aside from their quality as a tourist attraction – which remind one of monuments to heroes of a vanished monarchy, really have any relevance today? For Egon Schiele it was "the most difficult day of his life", although he was not drafted, when he portrayed some interesting prisoners of war and put the likeness of uniformed superiors onto paper. He did not, as is well known, live to see the end of the First World War. Anton Kolig painted "in great distress", and he too was limited to portraying officers and prisoners. Schiele, like Kolig and many of their colleagues, did not carry out their services in the face of the enemy but rather behind the easel as war artists to their Majesty or at least to those who were responsible for their country's propaganda. Oskar Kokoschka, in contrast, was injured twice and remained traumatised in Dresden, where he had been sent to recover. Alfons Walde refused to be a war artist. He did not want to glorify death. The portrait of a comrade on Monte Piano lacks the specific, glistening-hard colours used by Walde and after the war, soldiers' graves and grave crosses are painted in accordingly gloomy colours. Can one really visualize war with all its suffering, hardship and death? "If my soldiers see that, they won't come", said Archduke Franz Ferdinand already in 1909 when looking at a painting by Albin Egger-Lienz. The fate of the heir to the throne is well known, the artist, however, was deemed unworthy to serve at arms due to this heart problem and as a civilian, definitely thought he could achieve more for his country. His emaciated "war women", the empty gaze of the soldiers or the dead on the battle field in "Finale" (1918) are anything else but visualized, propagandistic rallying calls. It was presented in an Egger Lienz exhibition in the Welz Gallery in 1940 in a special room, but did not even appear in the catalogue. The reason given was the "undermining" character of the painting. The artist, you have to admit, did everything correctly. Leopold Museum 1070 Vienna, Museumsquartier Tel: +43 1 525 70-0 Fax: +43 1 525 70-1500 E-mail: leopoldmuseum@leopoldmuseum.org http://www.leopoldmuseum.org Opening hours: Wed - Mon 11 - 19 hours, Fri 11 - 21 hours

Leopold Museum
1070 Wien, Museumsquartier
Tel: +43 1 525 70-0, Fax: +43 1 525 70-1500
Email: leopoldmuseum@leopoldmuseum.org
Öffnungszeiten: Mi-So 10-18 h

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