100 years old. And still too daring?
How Egon Schiele's works continue to cause a sensation and excite feelings 100 years on.
Around 1900, Egon Schiele dared to do what still causes excitement today: Present nudity in explicit and stark terms. A hundred years later, his works touch a raw nerve, even in a seemingly enlightened society. Schiele's expressionist display of naked bodies is obviously still too daring - the advertising for the anniversary year of Viennese Modernism in 2018 led to a ban on his nudes being shown unclad in public.
Art is not allowed to do everything everywhere. See it all in Vienna.
In order to advertise probably the most important epoch of art and culture in Vienna and its most celebrated representative, it was originally intended to stage nudes by Egon Schiele in German and British cities in a big way. His world-famous works were to adorn large billboards, whole building walls and citylights in all their glory and question whether Schiele's art, one hundred years after his death, is still perceived by society as being too daring to span the arc to the hear and now.
Totally thinkable in Vienna but impossible in London, Hamburg or Cologne - what was planned as an incitement to engage with the art and cultural offering of Viennese Modernism was rejected by advertising marketeers in both countries due to rules governing morality in the public domain. The works could not be shown in the original as planned.
After many experiments with different kinds of covering, a large version was chosen to satisfy
all demands so that one of the greatest artists of his time could even be advertised in the public domain. Digital advertisements that had originally been approved, were declined both online and on social media platforms clearly demonstrating that nudity and its acceptance is not limited to the offline world.
These stipulations also provided the answer to the question asked in the campaign: Schiele's art is still too daring for many people today.