Meopham

Gustav Klimt & Edvard Munch

At our last meeting we looked at Gustav Klimt and Edvard Munch - both rather odd characters we found! In fact both of them seem to be very individual artists not really working alongside any other artists.
Klimt was born in1862 near Vienna. After studying at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts, he and his brother opened a successful workshop specialising in interior decoration. Her became a founding member of the Vienna Secession. Klimt's work, which was a mixture of ornament, mythology and eroticism, were considered shocking.His work was neglected for much of the 20th century.He created a highly personal style and much of his work is shrouded in mystery. Many of his paintings were confiscated by the Nazis after 1938. One of his most famous work - Adele Bloch-Bauer- was sold in 2006 for 135 million dollars. His father was a gold engraver and we assumed that this was why Klimt used so much gold in his work. His skill as a draughtsman and designer of architectural decoration comes through in his work. We also liked his flower paintings - a complete contrast.
Edvard Munch was born in 1863 in a small village in Norway. He was much influenced by his father who entertained his children with vivid ghost stories and was morbidly pious. Munch wrote" My father was temperamentally nervous and obsessively religious - to the point of psycho-neurosis. From him I inherited the seeds of madness. The angels of fear, sorrow and death stood by my side since the day I was born."By 1908, his excessive drinking, brawling, anxiety,hallucinations and feelings of persecution led him to have a nervous breakdown. He was obviously a complicated, disturbed man and this comes through in his art which we thought reflects the state of his mind. Although we were glad we had explored the work of this troubled man, we decided that it wasn't the kind of art we would hang on our wall!!