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Viennese Avantgarde Artists Series 3: Kokoschka & Schoenberg

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Viennese Avantgarde Artists Series 3: Kokoschka & Schoenberg

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When people think of psychology and Vienna, they usually think of Sigmund Freud. But psychological research had taken place in Vienna for two centuries before Freud. He was the beneficiary of a long tradition which included the extraordinary Franz Xaver Messerschmidt and Franz Mesmer, who gave his name to ‘mesmerism’.

Fin-de-siecle Vienna was a crucible of innovation and experiment. Klimt and Mahler were its passionate and romantic giants. Elsewhere in Europe, avant-garde art was often abstract but, in Vienna, it was the boundaries of sexual propriety that were breached. Egon Schiele was the main offender.

Klimt and Schiele both died in 1918, but the tradition of Viennese modernism underwent its own uneasy development well into the 20th century, especially in the hands of Oscar Kokoschka. This talk will address the fortunes of Kokoschka who lived until 1980, and the pioneering composer Arnold Schoenberg, who also painted.

delivered by Andrew Spira

Other talks in this series:

4/5/21: Gustav Klimt

11/5/21: Egon Schiele

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