Manhattan's Neue Galerie is hosting a large-scale exhibition of Gustav Klimt's paintings, drawings and never-before-seen photographs in celebration of the Austrian Symbolist's upcoming 150th birthday.
"Gustav Klimt: 150th Anniversary Celebration" is on display now through August 27 at the Upper East Side German and Austrian art museum in honor of the artist's day of birth on July 14, 1862.
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Museums across Vienna and Europe are spotlighting different aspects of Klimt's work and life with various exhibitons of their own throughout the year. In one innovative instance, online users can "Klimt Yourself" and see what they look like in one of Klimt's paintings while entering a contest to win a stay in Vienna.
Included in the showcase of 7 paintings, 40 drawings and some posters and photographs is his famous "Adele Bloch-Bauer I" (1907), a stunning work from that depicts the beautiful Viennese socialite against a glittering gold background. The New York Times' Holland Cotter called it "the central altarpiece, magnetically meretricious, transcendentally profane." It is the fourth most expensive painting of all time at $135 million.
"All art is erotic" is something that the modernist master is quoted as saying, and that was certainly true of the womanizer's paintings, which included orgies of fondling and masturbating women.
Thought Klimt is rightfully celebrated for his pretty portraits of his sensual subjects, he also created darker pieces that were destroyed by the Nazis and, according to The Guardian, "started a revolution in 20th-century art."