100 years old. And still too daring?
How Egon Schiele's works continue to excite 100 years later.
Around 1900, Egon Schiele dared to do what still causes excitement today: Present nudity in explicit and stark terms. A hundred years later, his works touch a raw nerve, even in a seemingly enlightened society. Schiele's expressionist display of naked bodies is obviously still too daring - the advertising for the anniversary year of Viennese Modernism in 2018 led to a ban on his nudes being shown unclad in public.
#ToArtItsFreedom Extended due to great excitement.
In New York, too, Schiele stimulates a discourse on the freedom of art. After the UK and Germany, the Viennese Modernism campaign is now continuing in the United States from mid-April to mid-May and shows that here, too, the handling of art in advertising is a controversial topic. "Still too daring" are the 100-year-old works for New York subway and bus stations, in which not even painted female nipples may be shown,
while magazines like "The New Yorker" see no reason to deprive their readers of the world-famous nudes. Especially spectacular: the uncensored depiction of Schiele's "Lying Woman" in the public space, which would previously only be permitted in Vienna, can be seen on a large façade painting in New York's SoHo. This mural stands in contrast to the sometimes allegedly more open-minded European metropolises, which rejected the motif even in censored form.
Art is not allowed to do everything everywhere. See it all in Vienna.
In order to advertise probably the most important epoch of art and culture in Vienna and its most celebrated representative, it was originally intended to stage nudes by Egon Schiele in major international cities in a big way. His now iconic works were to adorn large billboards, whole building walls and city lights in all their glory and question whether Schiele's art, one hundred years after his death, is still perceived by society as being too daring to span the arc to the here and now.
Totally thinkable in Vienna proved impossible in London, Hamburg and Cologne; as what was planned as an incitement to engage with the art and cultural offering of Viennese Modernism was rejected by advertising marketeers in both countries due to rules governing morality in the public domain. The works could not be shown in the original as proposed.
After many experiments with different kinds of covering, a large version was chosen to satisfy all demands so that one of the
greatest artists of his time could be promoted in the public domain. Digital advertisements that had originally been approved, were declined both online and on social media platforms clearly demonstrating that nudity and its acceptance is not limited to the offline world.
These stipulations also provided the answer to the question asked in the campaign: Schiele's art is still too daring for many people today.