Egon Schiele, a Self in Creation: A Psychoanalytic Study of the Artist's Self-Portraits

Egon Schiele, a Self in Creation: A Psychoanalytic Study of the Artist's Self-Portraits

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Overview

Egon Schiele, a Self in Creation: A Psychoanalytic Study of the Artist's Self-Portraits by Danielle Knafo

The haunting work of turn-of-the-century artist Egon Schiele continues to compel and shock viewers today. Living and painting in Austria during the decline of the Habsburg Empire and in the twilight of World War I, Schiele's image of man portrays the alienation and insecurity experienced at a time of decay and transition. Like his contemporary Sigmund Freud, Schiele probed the depths of human nature, and his graphic work is beginning to earn recognition as a major force in the evolution of modern art. As the first psychoanalytic book of Schiele's self-portraits, Egon Schiele: A Self in Creation represents an important contribution to the available literature on this fascinating artist. Dr. Danielle Knafo provides valuable new insights into Schiele's countless anguished self-images, and convincingly demonstrates how childhood traumas were both exhibited and mastered in his art. She also helps us understand the aesthetic appeal the spectator experiences in viewing Schiele's personal struggle and emotional turmoil. Dr. Knafo reconstructs the formative events in Schiele's early life by carefully studying his art, diaries, and correspondence, illustrating those events that were to become the primary determinants of the content and form of his art. She explains how a failed mirroring experience with his mother and family deaths, including that of his father from syphilis, profoundly influenced Schiele's body image and subsequent self-representation. He depicted his relationships to both parents in his art: reviving his father from the dead, he simultaneously killed his mother. Schiele wrote in 1911, "I want to tear into myself, so that I may create again, a new thing which I, in spite of myself, have perceived," Repeatedly and compulsively creating his artistic double, Schiele not only developed an unusually personal - even autobiographical - art form, but he also transformed his canvas into a mirror where he worked at defining himself. He used his self-portraits not

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780838634806
Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
Publication date: 01/01/1994
Pages: 196

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