During this last year of fits and starts, one of the most anticipated (and frequently delayed) events was the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit slated for 2021. It finally has kicked off in Detroit and is about to be joined by an exhibit featuring an artist perhaps less known than Vincent Van Gogh, but nearly as eccentric and every bit as fascinating – Gustav Klimt (1862-1918).While he may not be as familiar as Van Gogh to the casual art fan, most people have probably seen his most famous work “The Kiss” on a poster or a coffee mug. His work was considered revolutionary for its time, blending traditional techniques and subjects with a modern, uninhibited approach.
The exhibit is similar to the Van Gogh immersive exhibit, in which music and animations are used to augment the projected displays of Klimt’s work and bring the viewer into the paintings. This exhibit will also feature the work of Egon Schiele and Kolomon Moser, who were strongly influenced by Klimt.
Lighthouse Immersive producer Svetlana Dvoretsky said in a press release, “This exhibit takes you on a very exciting journey. Klimt was a leader through a time of unrest among artists who wanted to completely reimagine what art could be and make art that favored graphic style and symbolism. He was a bold provocateur, particularly in his daring portrayal of the female form.”
“The exhibit bathes the viewer in the sensual colors and golden glow of the period while also evoking the thrilling energy of times of change.”
Put on by the same team that brought the Van Gogh exhibit to life, Immersive Klimt: Revolution brings the viewer into the brightly colored world of Klimt’s paintings. Klimt was a founder of the Vienna Succession, a group of artists who seceded from the mainstream art academy of the time in the Austrian city. His work is noted for vivid, original use of color and pattern, often featuring strong vertical focus that draws the eye.
Much of his early work depicted the natural world – tumbles of flowers, landscapes so green they are almost dreamlike – but his Golden Period was his most successful creatively and financially. “The Kiss” hails from this time and exemplifies his use of gold leaf, his eye-catching patterns decorating the lovers’ clothes, and particularly Klimt’s love for painting women. While Klimt never identified the pair in the famous painting, it is believed to depict Klimt and his lifetime companion (and sister-in-law) Emilie Floge.
Floge was a fashion designer and dress reformer, advocating for women to wear looser, less shaped clothing that allowed them to leave behind restrictive corsets and move freely. She often designed and modeled the costumes Klimt’s subjects would wear in his paintings – many resemble the modern-day caftans that had a moment during the pandemic.
The exhibit will be housed at Lighthouse ArtSpace, formerly known as the Harmonie Club in Detroit’s Harmonie Park neighborhood. It opens Sept. 10 and will run through Oct. 16, concurrently with the extended run of the Van Gogh exhibit. Tickets start at $35.Courtesy of Fever and Exhibition Hub.