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Max Kurzweil - Light and Shadow

Masterpieces in Focus

11 May 2016 to 04 September 2016
Upper BelvedereBelvedere
In May 2016, the Belvedere will be devoting an exhibition to an unusual artist from the Vienna Secession. Maximilian Kurzweil was born in 1867 into an industrialist’s family in Bisenz (Bzenec) in Moravia, a background that ensured a life free from financial worries. After studying in Vienna and Paris he met his future wife in 1894 at the Bretonnian port of Concarneau, where he usually spent the summer months. He painted genre scenes of rural life in Brittany and would soon start working on his well-known impressionistic ports and landscapes. However, his oeuvre contains excellent examples of all the avant-garde movements of his day, ranging from Naturalism and Impressionism to Symbolist works and even a remarkably early interest in Expressionism. This openness to new artistic inspiration is combined with his examination of the depths of the human psyche. In his many nudes and female portraits, Kurzweil’s problematic personality, veering between passion and depression, is particularly apparent. Under the shadow of the First World War this would ultimately have fatal consequences. Separated from his wife in France, he was unhappily in love with his student Helene Heger with whom he committed suicide in 1916.
Exhibitions in the series Masterpieces in Focus are made possible through the generous support of the Dorotheum.