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Neue Galerie “Egon Schiele: Portraits” Exhibit in New York Curated by Former Meadows Professor

Controversial Victorian-era artist subject of study by Dr. Alessandra Comini, University Distinguished Professor Emerita of Art History; New York Times calls the show “gripping”

Photo courtesy of Neue Galerie

Former Meadows professor Dr. Alessandra Comini is making a splash in New York with her new exhibit, “Egon Schiele: Portraits,” now on display at the Neue Galerie on Fifth Avenue.

Viennese artist Schiele (1890-1918) was highly controversial in his time. Although now credited with playing an important role in the advancement of modernism in Europe, his provocative portrayals of nudity and sexuality challenged Victorian sensibilities and landed him in jail for 24 days in 1912 when he was charged with exposing children – whom he often used as models for his work - to erotic drawings in his studio.

The exhibition documents an evolution of the artist’s style, both before and after his imprisonment in 1912, and includes 125 drawings, paintings and sculpture. The first exhibition in an American museum to focus solely on his portraits, it groups works in six categories: Family and Academy; Fellow Artists; Sitters and Patrons; Lovers; Eros; and Self-Portraits/Allegorical Self-Portraits.

The New York Times calls the exhibit “gripping,” saying it includes works that show Schiele as “… the feverish Expressionist who would become one of the most popular artists of the 20th century.”

Dr. Comini taught art history at SMU for 31 years, from 1974 to 2005, during which she was named SMU University Distinguished Professor Emerita of Art History. In recent years she has been a featured speaker at various symposia and is the author of art history-based mystery novels. In 2012, the town of Neulengbach in Austria honored her life’s work and celebrated her discovery in 1963 of the village prison cell where Schiele was incarcerated.

“Egon Schiele: Portraits” runs through Jan. 19 at the Neue Galerie, 1048 Fifth Avenue at 86th Street.

Read more about Dr. Alessandra Comini and “Egon Schiele: Portraits.” To hear a Comini lecture on “Redefining Portraiture in the Age of Angst,” check out the 57-minute video recording on Youtube.

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