|The Kiss by Gustav Klimt |
on sale at AllPosters.com
|Hope III at MoMA|
And then there's this one I stumbled across at the Met Breuer in the spring:
I went back yesterday for another look. It's in the exhibition called "Unfinished." Meaning, the artists never finished the work. Generally because they kicked off. On the whole, it was all gloriously morbid and haunting. I was fully onboard.
Here's the caption on this one:
Austrian, Baumgarten 1862-1918 Vienna
Portrait of Ria Munk III, 1917-1918
Death stands at the beginning and the end of this work's history. The young woman, Maria ("Ria") Munk, committed suicide on December 28, 1911 after the write Hanns Heinz Ewers called off their engagement.
Klimt, the most sought-after portraitist in Vienna at the time, was commissioned to paint her posthumous portrait. He struggled with the task and the first two portraits did not meet the family's approval.
While still working on his third portrait of Ria, Klimt himself died. A beautiful example of his famous portrayals of women, this unfinished work gives fascinating insight into the artist's process.
Note the tentative placement of painted color patches amid rapidly sketched charcoal lines, the precisely outlined ornaments waiting to be filled in, and the fully developed flower pattern that envelopes the upper part of the figure.
It's the flowers that get you. Blooming and stone cold dead, all at once. I'm a sucker for this whole paradoxical unity thing.
"When the work is done, it is forgotten. That is why it lasts forever."
That's a soundbyte by Lao Tzu, ancient eastern philosophizer.
Also there's this dictionary definition I always kind of liked:
Eschatology (eskatalogy): the part of theology concerned with death, judgement and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind. eschatological. eschatologist.
Put them both together and you get me, at the Met Breuer for the same show, two times. Maybe three times if someone is interested in getting hauled around the joint.