Monday, 29 July 2013


Weee! A feature! ART TALK is pretty self explanatory, I'm going to discuss a particular artist or art movement and offer analysis on their influences, who they influenced and links to fashion.

If I wasn't already sitting down, I'd have to sit down right now, because OH BOY, there isn't an artist I like more than Gustav Klimt! It may just be because I love the scenes in which his female subjects are in, or the way he has been influenced by Japanese and Eastern art - but overall his amaaaaazing way of depicting the human form by simultaneously focusing on it through stark areas of flesh and, contrastingly, detracting from it with overly stylised blocks of colour, pattern and flowers.

The Kiss, Gustav Klimt, 1908 Source: Klimt Museum
Known for his particular focus on women and the female body, Gustav Klimt lived from 1862 through to 1918, bringing with him a legacy of unique use of colour, shape and pattern to create visual texture.

Klimt is considered by most art commentators to be most well known for his "Golden Phase", in which he employed the use of gold leaf as a sort of "base" colour (and background) and added on top of that in typical oil acrylics to even further draw the eye and make it focus on certain parts of the painting. This phase heralded his most well-known paintings to date - "The Kiss" and "Portrait of Adele Bloche-Bauer" (which sold a few years ago for £85 million!). The Kiss shows an embracing couple and contrary to a lot of his depictions of the female body where their bodies are objects, the woman in this instance is treated as part of this particular story.

Portrait of Adele Bloche-Bauer, Gustav Klimt, 1907 Source: Klimt Museum
clippings from "Gustav Klimt and the Art of East Asia" by Johannes Weininger
Klimt's art can easily be translated into fashion, probably due to the already prominent textures and patterns that he used, but also since his work featured so much opulent and elaborate decoration - it is easy to be influenced by to translate into print and textile. One recent example of Klimt's influences on fashion is the Autumn/Winter 2013 collection from L'Wren Scott, who described the collection as "[The] Dreaming of decadence. Gustav Klimt during the Golden Period using Adele [Bloch-]Bauer acting as the muse.” S

A/W 2013, L'Wren Scott, Source:
I'm pretty sure I will never, ever, ever, tire of looking at Klimt's work - and the art world never seems to be able to find criticisms in his work either - showing that art doesn't always have to SAY something, or MEAN something - it might do, but the whole point is that it's just plain nice to look at.

What is your opinion about Klimt? Do you think he is overly-zealous with the texture, don't really like his female portraits or just think his work is REALLY pretty?


Lexi said...

Gorgeous! It would be great to see more pieces with more unique prints inspired by artists. You can only have so many florals, polka dots, stripes and leopard print.


Pardon My Fashion said...

LOVE it and I totally agree. Sometimes we just want to look at something pretty...cuz it makes us feel good.

xoxo Britt

Jean said...

Lexi - I know right?! I feel like the same patterns are being used time and time again - if I saw some more collections only remotely linking to someone like Klimt I'd be happy!

Pardon my Fashion - Thanks for dropping by!! I completely agree! Pretty things = not appreciated enough, just cos they're pretty!

Dulcie Horn said...

Oh my goodness I'm afraid I'm definitely going to have to slightly steal this for my Art as Fashion series, never saw this collection!

Dulcie Horn said...

Also.. I'm not a fan of all the gold stuff... This is my favourite:

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