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How Egon Schiele and Francesca Woodman Saw the Expressive Nature of the Human Body

  • Egon Schiele - Reclining woman with green shoes (Liegende Frau mit grünen Hausschuhen), 1917
  • Egon Schiele - Self Portrait in Crouching Position, 1913
  • Francesca Woodman, Untitled 1975-80
  • Francesca Woodman - Untitled 1975-80
  • Francesca Woodman - Untitled (FW crouching behind umbrella) c.1980
  • Francesca Woodman - Providence, Rhode Island, 1976 1976
March 7, 2018
A philosophy graduate interested in theory, politics and art. Alias of Jelena Martinović.

Working one hundred years apart, the radical Austrian expressionist painter Egon Schiele and the American photographer Francesca Woodman are known for their distinct portrayal of the expressive nature of the human body. These two influential and innovative artists are renowned for their nude and self-portraits, laying bare their subjects’ raw emotional state and physical tensions in works that are both intimate and unapologetic.

The work of these two artists is brought together in the upcoming exhibition at Tate Liverpool. Titled Life in Motion: Egon Schiele / Francesca Woodman, the exhibition explores artists’ remarkable power to capture and suggest a movement to create dynamic, extraordinary compositions.

Juxtaposing Woodman’s works to Schiele’s and offering the viewer a close and intimate encounter with their personal and powerful works, the display aims to highlight how earlier practices and ideas continue to influence contemporary art.

Egon Schiele - Standing male figure (self-portrait), 1914, Francesca Woodman - Eel Series, Roma, May 1977 - August 1978 1977-8
Left: Egon Schiele – Standing male figure (self-portrait), 1914. Gouache and graphite on paper, 460 x 305 mm. National Gallery, Prague. Photograph © National Gallery in Prague 2017 / Right: Francesca Woodman – Eel Series, Roma, May 1977 – August 1978, 1977-8. Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper, 219 x 218 mm. ARTIST ROOMS Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008 © Courtesy of George and Betty Woodman

The Practice of Egon Schiele

Known for a distinctive and daring style, Egon Schiele had a remarkable ability to reflect the animated energy of his models using quick marks and sharp minimal lines.

Portrayed with contorted bodies and twisted limbs, his figures are often depicted tortured and emaciated or in a state of emotional and psychological flux. The exhibition highlights the artist’s technical virtuosity, distinctive vision and unflinching depictions of the human figure.

Showcased on the 100th anniversary of Schiele’s death, the exhibition will offer a rare opportunity to see a large number of his drawings in the North of England. Highlighting the breadth of his practice, the exhibition will feature everything from erotic depictions of women to a number of self-portraits.

Egon Schiele - Self portrait, 1914, Squatting Girl, 1917
Left: Egon Schiele – Self portrait, 1914. Watercolor and pencil on paper, 467 x 301 mm. Ömer Koç; Image courtesy: Hadiye Cangökçe / Right: Egon Schiele – Squatting Girl, 1917. Gouache and crayon on paper, 460 x 288 mm © Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München.

The Practice of Francesca Woodman

One of the most innovative photographers of the second half of the 20th century, Francesca Woodman is known for employing long exposures to create a blurred image that captures extended yet unsteady moments in time. In her striking, surreal and humorous black and white photographs, she aimed to capture what she described as “the body’s inner force”.

Recognized for their unique vision and range of innovative techniques, her images reveal a heightened awareness of the artist’s surroundings.

The exhibition will include images from My House Series, Providence, Rhode Island, 1976 and Eel Series, Roma, May 1977 – August 1978.

Francesca Woodman - From Angel Series, Roma, September 1977 1977, Untitled, 1975-80
Left: Francesca Woodman – From Angel Series, Roma, September 1977, 1977. Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper, 93 x 93 mm. ARTIST ROOMS Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008 © Courtesy of George and Betty Woodman / Right: Francesca Woodman – Untitled, 1975-80. Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper, 141 x 140 mm. ARTIST ROOMS Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008 © Courtesy of George and Betty Woodman

Egon Schiele and Francesca Woodman at Tate Liverpool

Shedding new light on the intensity and passion shared by these two artists, the exhibition highlights how both of these artists managed to capture the existential complexity of an identity in a permanent state of transition.

The exhibition Life in Motion: Egon Schiele / Francesca Woodman will be on view at Tate Liverpool from May 24th until September 23rd, 2018.

The exhibition is curated by Marie Nipper, Interim Artistic Director, and Tamar Hemmes, Assistant Curator, Tate Liverpool. This project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme.

Featured images: Egon Schiele – Reclining woman with green shoes (Liegende Frau mit grünen Hausschuhen), 1917; Gouache, watercolor and black crayon on paper, 297 x 458 mm. Private Collector; Image courtesy: Private Collection; Egon Schiele – Self Portrait in Crouching Position, 1913. Gouache and graphite on paper, 323 x 475 mm. Moderna Museet / Stockholm; Photo: Moderna Museet / Stockholm; Francesca Woodman – Untitled, 1975-80. Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper, 109 x 109 mm. ARTIST ROOMS Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008 © Courtesy of George and Betty Woodman; Francesca Woodman – Untitled, 1975-80. Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper, 140 x 140 mm. ARTIST ROOMS Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008 © Courtesy of George and Betty Woodman; Francesca Woodman – Untitled (FW crouching behind umbrella), c.1980. Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper, 171 x 165 mm. ARTIST ROOMS Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008 © Courtesy of George and Betty Woodman; Francesca Woodman – Providence, Rhode Island, 1976, 1976. Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper, 143 x 144 mm. ARTIST ROOMS Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008 © Courtesy of George and Betty Woodman. All images courtesy of Tate Liverpool.