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Birth of the Modern

 Tree behind a Fence
Tree behind a Fence 1912
Neue Galerie
1048 Fifth Avenue
New York, 10028

The exhibition “Birth of the Modern: Style and Identity in Vienna 1900,” will include more than 150 paintings, sculpture, works on paper, fashion, and decorative art objects. Among the highlights are the paintings Hope II (Vision), 1907-08 by Gustav Klimt, Lotte Franzos, 1909, by Oskar Kokoschka, and Laughing Self-Portrait, 1908, by Richard Gerstl, and key decorative artworks by Otto Wagner, Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser, and Adolf Loos.

The exhibition, which draws both from the Neue Galerie permanent collection and from collections in the United States and Europe, will fill both the second and third floors of the museum. The second floor will be devoted to fine art from the period, examining themes of changing representations of women, psychological portraits of the modern man, and the crossover among art, medicine, and psychology in the paintings of artists such as Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Richard Gerstl, and Oskar Kokoschka. Examples of turn-of-the-century women’s fashion will also be on view. The third floor will begin with a room dedicated to the work of architect Otto Wagner, father of the modern movement in Vienna. One of the two remaining large galleries will be dedicated to the ground-breaking innovations of the artists of the Vienna Secession. The other will explore turn-of-the-century decorative artists’ two divergent paths to Modernism: one exemplified by the members of the Wiener Werkstätte (Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser, and Dagobert Peche) and their desire to create a Gesamtkunstwerk, or total work of art, and the other by the strict formalism of Adolf Loos. In a small fourth room, the revolutionary music of Viennese composers such as Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schönberg will be explored.

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