Golden Girls: The Neue Galerie Celebrates Gustav Klimt's 150th, With a Survey of His Gilded Portraits

Gustav Klimt, "Adele Bloch-Bauer I/Bildnis Adele Bloch-Bauer I," 1907 (detail)
(Courtesy Neue Galerie New York)

WHAT:Gustav Klimt: 150th Anniversary Celebration”

WHEN: Through August 27, Thursday-Monday 11am-6pm.

WHERE: Neue Galerie, 1048 Fifth Avenue at 86th Street, New York.

WHY THIS SHOW MATTERS: The Neue Galerie is joining in the international celebration of the 150th birthday of Austrian Modernist Gustav Klimt by mounting a large-scale exhibition of major paintings, drawings, and never-before-seen photographs. The show coincides with several Viennese museum exhibitions, including shows at the Albertina, Belvedere, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Leopold Museum, and Wien Museum, each shining a spotlight on different aspects of the artist’s work and life.

One of the most recognizable and breathtaking works on view is “Adele Bloch-Bauer I” (1906), his gold leaf-laden portrait of the dark-haired beauty. The painting exemplifies Klimt's quintessential golden period style; the figure softly and traditionally rendered amidst a myriad of detailed patterning. Apart from Adele, the exhibition is mostly comprised of later works dating from the period after Klimt joined the Secessionist movement and abandoned the realist tenants of his earlier work. Paintings like “Forester House in Weissenbach on the Attersee” (1914) and studies like “Transfer Drawing for Jurisprudence” (1902-1903) reveal the trappings of Impressionism and Art Nouveau buried within his original style. Klimt filled his work with romantic and erotic imagery, leaving behind some of the most magnetic paintings in Western art.

To see works from the Neue Galerie's Gustav Klimt survey, click the slide show.