CV Helena Pereña
Dr. Helena Pereña studied Art History and Philosophy in Madrid and Munich. She gained her doctorate with a thesis about Egon Schiele in 2009. From 2006 to 2009 she worked at the Max Beckmann Archives. She was a research fellow and curator at the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, contributing to numerous exhibitions about nineteenth and twentieth-century art up until 2012. Most recently she curated the exhibition Egon Schiele – Das unrettbare Ich at the Kunstbau. Numerous publications about modernism.
CIR-Project Helena Pereña
In 1906 the acquisitions committee for the Moderne Galerie – today’s Belvedere – commissioned a painting from Albin Egger-Lienz to be completed within two years. Right on time for the Emperor’s 60-Year Jubilee and shortly before the 100th anniversary of the Tyrolean Wars of Independence, Egger-Lienz presented his Dance of Death of Anno Nine (Totentanz von Anno Neun), the first surviving version of a subject that would frequently occupy him between 1906 and 1921. The painting played an outstanding role in his work, not only because the artist for the first time had found his long sought-after monumental formal language but also as he had discovered war – detached from a specific historical context – as one of his lifelong subjects. Dance of Death unites all the contradictions associated with Egger-Lienz. From the very beginning and to this day, the image has been interpreted both as a manifesto of pacifism and a glorification of the heroic death. But how can such contrary points of view be established from the imagery? Such questions form the starting point for the Belvedere’s exhibition that focuses both on the specific context of the Dance of Death’s creation and tracing the reception of this image.
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