Saturday, April 27, 2013

Ken Turner Blog Series: Influences and Inspirations Blog Entry #6 - GUSTAV KLIMT (1862 - 1918)

"I can paint and draw. I believe this myself and a few other people say that they believe this too. But I'm not certain of whether it's true.”
- Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt is another artist like Gorey whose work I came upon in college.  The Austrian born painters work was very striking and his Golden Phase was his most successful and popular.  His highly decorative style was very distinct and often depicted sensual portraits of woman with symbols/patterns as the primary subject matter.

"The Kiss" is his most famous painting.
"All art is erotic.” - Gustav Klimt 

"Hope II"

"Art is a line around your thoughts.”
- Gustav Klimt

Some facts about Gustav Klimt:
  1. Klimt was a leader in the Vienna Secession movement. Also known as the Union of Austrian Artists, the Vienna Secession was a collective of painters and sculptors that was founded in 1897. Klimt acted as the first president of the Vienna Secession and sought to unite Viennese artists in all styles for the purpose of inspiration. Even though he left the union after eight years due to differing artistic opinions, Klimt was instrumental in creating a place where brilliant young artists of the period were nurtured.

  2. Femme fatales were a main focus for Klimt. Although Klimt was extremely private about his love life, women were the inspiration behind some of Klimt's most famous pieces. His focus on the female form and penchant for creating racy paintings drew criticism from both political and religious leaders. The disapproval of his work led Klimt to experiment with painting landscapes in addition to abstract portraits.

  3. Egon Schiele was heavily influenced by Klimt. After he left the Vienna Secession, Klimt was still eager to mentor young talent. He saw talent in a young Austrian artist named Egon Schiele and spent many years mentoring him and assisting him with exhibitions. Schiele became a successful artist in his own right and even helped usher in the Expressionist movement, but much of his emphasis on the human form can be traced back to Gustav Klimt.

  4. Iconic Klimt paintings have sold for record prices. Klimt achieved relative success while he was still alive, but posthumously became one of the most recognized artists in the world. His iconic artwork is in high demand, with prints still being produced today. Klimt's paintings even set a record when "Frau Adele Bloch-Bauer" was sold for $135 million in New York City in 2006.

    info via

  "The Tree of Life" heavily influenced the design of the tree in my short film "TIM" (see below)

Below is a small selection of his works:

"I'm a painter who paints day in day out, from morning till evening - figure pictures and landscapes, more rarely portraits.”
- Gustav Klimt

 In 2006, a film about Gustav was released simply titled "KLIMT".  It starred John Malkovich as Klimt and has some great scenes in the film with Egon Schiele played by Nikolai Kinski.  Klimt's work had a strong influence on the paintings of Egon Schiele, with whom he would collaborate to found the Kunsthalle (Hall of Art) in 1917, to try to keep local artists from going abroad.

(photo of Egon Schiele)

Egon Schiele's portrait of Gustav Klimt in a light Blue Smock, 1913

Here is the trailer for KLIMT:

"Whoever wants to know something about me – as an artist which alone is significant – they should look attentively at my pictures and there seek to recognize what I am and what I want.”
- Gustav Klimt

Next time on the Influences and Inspirations : *Hint "The Pumpkin Smashers"


1 comment:

Little Gothic Horrors said...

"I can paint and draw. I believe this myself and a few other people say that they believe this too. But I'm not certain of whether it's true.”
- Gustav Klimt

That Klimt quote is awesome! And I LOVE the picture of him with the cat!