Gustav Klimt: Painting, Design and Modern Life in Vienna 1900
Liverpool, Tate Liverpool


In contrast to the usual retrospectives, this exhibition situates Gustav Klimt within the larger framework of Viennese society at the turn of the twentieth century. It traces the relationship between his leading role in the Viennese Secession, a group founded in 1897 by artists who had resigned from the Association of Austrian Artists, and the Wiener Werkstätte, the Viennese Workshop that existed from 1903 to 1932. The workshop marked a highpoint of early 20th-century design and was founded by Klimt's close friend, Josef Hoffmann. Klimt's gorgeous paintings are juxtaposed with products made by the workshop, revealing the synergy between the worlds of art and design in Vienna during that era.

The highlight is the full-scale reconstruction of Klimt's monumental installation, The Beethoven Frieze. First made in 1901-1902, it was reconstructed in 1984 and installed in the Secession building in Vienna where the original was first exhibited. The work celebrates all the arts – painting, sculpture, architecture and music – and exemplifies Gesamtkunstwerk, the influential concept about the total, overall work of art, which was pioneered by Richard Wagner.

May 30 through August 31, 2008
Tate Liverpool
Albert Dock
LiverpoolL3 4BB
T.44 (0)151 702 7400