23 MAY 2018 | 14.30–16.50 pm
23 May 2018 | 14.30–15pm
23 May 2018 | 18.30–19pm
curator Tamar Hemmes
Exhibition: 24 MAY – 23 SEPTEMBER 2018
Albert Dock
Liverpool Waterfront, Liverpool L3 4BB



Egon Schiele, Standing male figure (self-portrait) 1914. Photograph © National Gallery in Prague 2017


24 MAY – 23 SEPTEMBER 2018

Life in Motion: Egon Schiele/ Francesca Woodman sheds new light on the intensity and passion shared and conveyed by these two artists, whose approaches have resulted in deeply personal and powerful works of art.

‘I show you what you do not see – the body’s inner force.’ Francesca Woodman
10 years on from our acclaimed exhibition of Gustav Klimt, Tate Liverpool showcases the works of his radical protégé, Egon Schiele, alongside the sublime photography of Francesca Woodman.

Both artists are known for their intimate and unapologetic portraits, which look beneath the surface to capture their subjects’ emotions. Schiele’s (1890–1918) drawings are strikingly raw and direct. He had a distinctive style using quick marks and sharp lines to portray the energy of his models. ‘I show you what you do not see – the body’s inner force’, said Woodman (1958–1981), who used long exposures to create blurred images that captured extended moments in time. Her photographs can be surreal, humorous and at times painfully honest.



Egon Schiele, Self Portrait in Crouching Position 1913. Photo: Moderna Museet / Stockholm


Lost Art: Egon Schiele
Discover the fascinating story of an artwork that disappeared
Egon Schiele’s Self-Seer 1910 was the first in a series of three double self-portraits, and although missing for over seventy years and known only through a poor black and white photograph, the lost canvas remains much discussed by those interested in the work of the famous Austrian artist.

Schiele’s early career was defined by his relationship with Gustav Klimt, the most famous painter associated with the Austrian Secession movement. In 1907 Schiele contacted Klimt, who proceeded to introduce the talented teenager to artists and collectors in Vienna. In early 1910, Schiele, then only twenty, moved away from the decorative style of his mentor and began to emphasise the grotesque in his self-portraits, showing his face distorted, his skin discoloured and his body brutally truncated. Viewing sexuality with a rare directness that, to some, bordered on the pathological, Schiele also found himself in trouble with the authorities on a number of occasions for his sexually explicit drawings and paintings.

In Self-Seer, completed in December 1910, a strangely de-sexed, naked Schiele is shown kneeling and partly enveloped in a dark garment. Behind him, mimicking his rigid hand gesture, is a youthful twin figure. It was one of a series of three double self-portraits. For art historian Alessandra Comini the series became ‘in part a battle before the mirror, between the artist as creator of and vessel for his own image’.

Schiele died in 1918, aged just twenty-eight, a victim of a Spanish flu epidemic that claimed more than twenty million lives across Europe. Nonetheless, his fame continued to grow after his death and in the 1920s Fritz Grünbaum, a successful cabaret artist who built up a significant collection of modern art, acquired Self-Seer.

In March 1938 Austria was annexed to the German Reich. The new National Socialist authorities immediately began the process of excluding Austria’s Jewish community, and other opponents of their regime, from society. Attempting to flee to Czechoslovakia by train, Fritz Grünbaum and his wife Lily were arrested and returned to Vienna. Grünbaum was deported to the Dachau concentration camp in May 1938, while in Vienna Lily was left to ‘authorise’ the governmental confiscation of the couple’s property. A property assessment for Lily Grünbaum dated 20 July 1938 provides the last record of Self-Seer. Following the confiscation of her apartment in October 1938 Lily Grünbaum was registered at four different addresses between 1938 and 1942. She was finally arrested in 5 October 1942 and deported to the Maly Trostinc extermination camp nearMinsk, where she was murdered on 9 October. Her husband had already died.

The story of Self-Seer does not end there. After Lily Grünbaum’s deportation, her collection would have become the property of the German Reich. In theory, the collection should have been confiscated and sold off through a sub-section of the Gestapo responsible for selling off Jewish-owned luxury goods. But the Grünbaum collection does not figure in any of the related records. In 1956, however, around forty Schiele works from the Grünbaum collection appeared on the market via a dealership in Switzerland. According to the dealership’s owner, he had acquired the work from the sister of Lily Grünbaum, who survived the war. The sale included works by Schiele that had appeared alongside Self-Seer in Lily Grünbaum’s 1938 property assessment, and the hope remains that the missing work may yet resurface one day.



Egon Schiele, Squatting Girl 1917 © Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München


Five things to know: Francesca Woodman
Meet the acclaimed photographer who created surreal, humorous and at times painfully honest images


Francesca Woodman Untitled 1975–80
Tate / National Galleries of Scotland© Courtesy of George and Betty Woodman

Francesca Woodman was born on 3 April 1958 in Denver, Colorado. Her father, George, was a painter and photographer, her mother, Betty, was a sculptor and her brother, Charles, is an electronic artist. Woodman started taking photographs when she was 13 years old. She moved to New York in 1979 with the dream of pursuing a career in fashion photography.


Eel Series, Roma, May 1977 - August 1978 1977-8 by Francesca Woodman 1958-1981
Francesca Woodman, ‘Eel Series, Roma, May 1977 – August 1978’ 1977–8
Francesca Woodman
Eel Series, Roma, May 1977 – August 1978 1977–8
Tate / National Galleries of Scotland© Courtesy of George and Betty Woodman


Woodman attended the Rhode Island School of Design in 1975. She idolised fashion photographers, such as Guy Bourdin and Deborah Turbeville. This influence is noticeable in the way Woodman sensitively used clothing throughout her works.

While studying in Rome during 1977–78, Woodman regularly visited the Maldoror bookshop, which specialised in books on surrealism. There she learnt about the pioneers of this movement, including Man Ray and Meret Oppenheim. Woodman applied some of the characteristics associated with surrealism to her own work. She created dreamlike environments with interesting and unusual objects, such as shells and eels, and combined familiar things in unfamiliar contexts to evoke uncanny feelings. She transformed extremely limited and unpromising environments into spaces of fantasy and experimentation.


Francesca Woodman Providence, Rhode Island, 1976 1976
Tate / National Galleries of Scotland
© Courtesy of George and Betty Woodman


During her career, Woodman produced over 800 black and white photographs. She featured as the subject in many of them, sometimes partially clothed, naked, disguised, hidden or a blur. She used ordinary objects and materials, such as mirrors and pegs, to transform her body parts into distorted and surreal versions. She experimented with glass panels, pressing them against her body to squeeze, reshape and flatten her flesh to make her physical features appear grotesque and exaggerated. When questioned about why she was the subject of her own photographs, Woodman replied ‘It’s a matter of convenience, I’m always available’.

Woodman used long shutter speed and double exposure when photographing so that she could actively feature in her own work. This also meant that she could capture different stages of movement, in a way that could trace the pattern of time. As a result, her image is blurred, which suggests motion and urgency.

Am I in the picture? Am I getting in or out of it? I could be a ghost, an animal or a dead body, not just this girl standing on the corner …?
Francesca Woodman



Francesca Woodman Untitled 1975–80
Tate / National Galleries of Scotland©Courtesy of George and Betty Woodman



Although she died very young, there is no denying that Woodman was one of the most innovative and promising artists of her generation. She pushed the boundaries of experimental photography and played with the potential of shutter speed and exposure. Cindy Sherman (known for her conceptual portraits), Tracey Emin (known for her autobiographical artwork) and writer and conceptual artist Sophie Calle (whose photography examines human identity and intimacy) all nod to Woodman as a huge influence on their own work.

She had few boundaries and made art out of nothing: empty rooms with peeling wallpaper and just her figure. No elaborate stage set-up or lights … Her process struck me more the way a painter works, making do with what’s right in front of her, rather than photographers like myself who need time to plan out what they’re going to do.
Cindy Sherman

The close encounter between these two exceptional artists offers an intense viewing experience and a new perspective on their personal and powerful works.

This project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through
the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme with additional support from Tate Liverpool Members
24 May – 23 September 2018

Albert Dock
Liverpool Waterf, rontLiverpool L3 4BB




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