Mar 18, 2010

Avadon on Schiele

"You can't get at the thing itself, the real nature of the sitter, by stripping away the surface. The surface is all you've got. You can only get beyond the surface by working with the surface. All that you can do is manipulate that surface - gesture, costume, expression - radically and correctly. And I think Schiele understood this in a unique, profound, and original way. Rather than attempting to abandon tradition of the performing portrait (which is probably impossible anyway), it seemed to me that Schiele pushed it to extremes. He shattered the form by turning the volume up to a scream. And so what we see in Schiele is a kind of recurring push and pull: first toward pure "performance," gesture and stylized behaviors pursued for its own sake, studied for its on sake; then these extreme stylizations are preserved in form, but disoriented, taken out of their familiar place, and used to change the nature of what a portrait is."
- Richard Avedon from Egon Schiele: Drawings and Watercolors

Self-Portrait with Arm Twisting Above Head, 1910, Egon Schiele

No comments:

Locations of visitors to this page