Women: Unseen Schiele on display in UK

Nearly 50 works previously unseen in this country by provocative Austrian artist Egon Schiele go on show in London tomorrow.

The majority of Schiele’s 4,000-plus oeuvre can only be seen in Vienna. Despite the global renown this protégé of Gustav Klimt has earned since his death aged 28 in 1918, little of his work is available in museums in Britain.

All 45 of the erotically-charged sketches in the Women exhibition have been sold by dealer Richard Nagy at some point in his career. He’s borrowed them back from private collections for this exhibition at his new gallery on Old Bond Street.

Women features gorgeous line sketches such as ‘Adele with Dog’ (1917) as well as more colourful, and less stylistically recognisable, pieces like ‘Girl in Green Dress’ (1913) and ‘Black Pinafore’ (1911).

An uncharacteristically formal sketch of the artist’s wife Edith Schiele (nee Harms) is among the collection, as are sketches of his most famous sitter Valerie ‘Wally’ Neuzil and a drawing of the actress Marga Boerner.

Numerous nudes of Schiele’s younger sister Gertrude (see pictured) can also be seen - something which has no doubt raised a few eyebrows.

Nagy’s exhibition shows the diversity in Schiele’s depiction of women, from the tension and anxiety demonstrated in his 1910-1911 works, to his calmer, softer style of 1917-1918 when he was becoming comfortable and successful as an artist.

Egon Schiele: Women is at the Richard Nagy Gallery, Old Bond Street, London from 19 May to 30 June 2011, www.richardnagy.com

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