Turn of the century Vienna was a melting pot of new ideas in science (Hertz and Boltzmann); philosophy (Ludwig Wittgenstein); psychoanalysis (Sigmund Freud); modernist architecture (Otto Wagner and Adolf Loos) twelve tone music (Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg and Anton Webern); modernist literature (Karl Kraus, Robert Musil and Arthur Schnitzler); and in art (Klimt, Kokoschka and Schiele). Gustav Klimt led the Secession movement, which broke free from nineteenth century academic art, to create a highly decorative and potent form of imagery, drawing inspiration from art nouveau, symbolism, Byzantine and Mycenaean art. Klimt created a highly decorative and sensual visualization that explored the power of sex in the age of Freud. We will examine the ramifications of Klimt’s sexually charged images in the context of Viennese art and society.
Colin has a BA in Philosophy and Politics from the University of Southampton and a MA in the History of Art from Birkbeck, University of London. He specialises in the interrelationship between the history of ideas and the history of art and has lectured on aspects of modern art at a wide range of cultural organisations: Putney School of Art and Design; the Temenos Academy; APT Studios; Mascalls Gallery; the Museum of Futures, Surbiton; the Jerwood Gallery, Hastings and the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea. He also curates exhibitions and has published two books of poetry: Acrobats of Sound, 2016 and The Ventriloquist Dummy’s Lament, 2019.