The great popularity of the illustrator Gustav Klimt is primarily based on the intoxicating sensuality of his female studies from the nude. The exhibition Gustav Klimt - The Drawings memorably visualises just how complex his draughtsmanship really is. The Albertina is showing a large part of its famous Klimt holdings, which consist of 170 sheets. The show is supplemented by outstanding loans from Austrian and international collections. The exhibition features a rich spectrum of figure studies, monumental work drawings and pictorial allegories. Klimt created fascinating effects with economical technical means: with chalk, pencil or coloured pencils, occasionally with a pen or watercolours and gold paint. Several series of figure studies are found in the Albertina that were created by Klimt in connection with important allegorical paintings or portraits. In these sheets he got to the essence of a certain pose, movement or frame of mind step by step. Each sheet has an autonomous significance.
Particularly these rarely shown series convey deep insight into the work methods and the mental and emotional universe of an artist who practically never spoke about his art.
For the 150th anniversary of the birthday of Gustav Klimt (1862–1918), the MAK is placing the artist’s cartoons for the mosaic frieze in the dining hall of Stoclet House, Brussels, at the center of an exhibition.