Until the end of June, Josh Siegel, curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA), is paying the Belvedere a short visit within its Curator in Residence Programme. Siegel has been working at the MoMA since 1993, where he is Associate Curator in the Department of Film. Siegel has demonstrated his expertise in the sphere of cinematographic creation in numerous exhibition projects giving new impulses to the exploration and presentation of art film, such as in an extensive retrospective on Jacques Tati. For the Blickle Kino at the 21er Haus, Josh Siegel has been programming a special screening.
Konstantin Akinsha is an art historian, curator and cultural journalist. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh in 2013. Among his journalistic awards are George Polk Memorial Award for Reporting on Culture (1991), Clarion Award for Cultural Journalism (2009), the Society of Silurians Excellence in Journalism Award (2009). His main research interest is Russian art of the end of the 19th – the first half of the 20th century.
Over a hundred years ago leading Viennese artists and critics were turning their gazes towards Russia, and this was reciprocated with great interest. This fascinating discovery in art history is the starting point for the research of Konstantin Akinsha. His specialism is the period between 1900 and 1908 when Paris was the undisputed center of the art world. In Vienna during this time, work by Russian artists like Mikhail Vrubel, Valentin Serov, and Boris Kustodiev, were exhibited and gained recognition on the Secession’s initiative. Kustodiev’s Family Portrait (1905), for example, was acquired for the collection of today’s Belvedere in 1908. In turn, Secession exhibitions, with big names like Klimt, were discussed in Russian art magazines, for example by Leon Trotsky who was then in exile in Vienna. Shedding light on the development, extent, and intensity of this mutual reception is the research objective of the Ukrainian curator during his residency.
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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