Body Extended

30. October - 30. November 2019
Shepherd W&K Galleries
58 East 79th Street | 10075 NY, New York
opening hours
Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-6pm
Body Extended
In October, Shepherd W&K Galleries will focus on body depictions from Viennese Modernism to contemporary Austrian developments on this theme. With this exhibition, we aim to convey the international significance of Austrian 20th-century art, whose pioneering achievements remain unrivalled in other countries.

As early as 1900, social conventions were questioned in the artistic works of the main protagonists Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Oskar Kokoschka. Undaunted by convention, the artists examine the elementary functions of life, illuminating the wide spectrum of sexual desire as well as experiences such as pregnancy, birth, death and the physical manifestations of mental illness. These pioneering achievements of Early Vienna Modernism are in fact without contemporary parallels in other countries and clearly influenced the avant-garde artists in Vienna from the post-war period to the present day.

The contextualization of the two generations of artists provides exciting insights. After the reprisals of the 1930s, the Second World War and the immediate post-war period a more extreme and very specific development of the artistic concerns of Vienna around 1900 emerge in Viennese Actionism Especially the works of Günter Brus, Hermann Nitsch, Otto Muehl and Rudolf Schwarzkogler, placed the body itself at the centre of their work. They not only triggered changes in the deeply conservative Austrian post-war society, but also exerted influence on an international scale, through their use of a powerful and radical expression. W&K illustrates this concept further and presents the contemporary context with works by artists such as Franz West and Elke Silvia Krystufek.