‘The Austrian Spring’ in Athens

Author Ludwig Hevesi once claimed, at the beginning of the 20th century, that nature is tired of posing, when trying to describe the new kind of freedom in art that was dawning in Vienna. Freud had discovered psychoanalysis, the fears and hopes for the new era had already surfaced since the end of the 19th century, and some artists felt it their duty to cast a fresh look at landscapes and the human body. And that is what they did, in the most daring of ways. Vienna Secession That was how the Secessionist movement, which opposed the Austrian academic style, was born. Some of the most beautiful works created by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka, Carl Moll and other Austrian artists whose work comprises the famous collection of Vienna’s Leopold Museum, are currently on display in Athens. The exhibition, titled «The Austrian Spring,» contains striking works that remind the audience of the incredible power of painting. Egon Schiele’s «Dead Mother» and «Self-Portrait,» Klimt’s «Blind Man» and his landscape from Attersee, Carl Moll’s view from Grinzing, some sketches and posters by Kokoschka, Koloman Moser’s painting of a girl with a necklace and Alfred Kubin’s «Hysteria» sum up the atmosphere that prevailed in Vienna at a time that changed humanity. One should not forget, as curator Efi Andreadi pointed out, that all these artists were in close contact with their contemporary composers, writers and architects and followed their work, hence creating an entirely different structure on which painting was developed. Leopold’s efforts The creator of the collection, Dr Rudolf Leopold, was also present at the recent press conference. Leopold has spent all his money to gather about 5,000 works, from 1948 to the present day. Part of his collection is permanently housed in a museum that bears his name, the Leopold Museum, which opened in 2001 in Vienna’s Museum Quarter. The passionate collector fought alone for many decades, against the opinion of the mainstream artistic elite in Europe and USA about the value of these artists. The Athens exhibition, in the foyer of the Athens Concert Hall through December 30, features a total of 70 oil paintings, sketches and posters. Admission is 6 euros and catalogs cost 20 euros. Athens Concert Hall, 1 Kokkali & Vas. Sofias, tel 210.728.2000. ‘The Austrian Spring’ is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays to Sundays.