Gustave Klimt was an Austrian artist of the Art Nouveau movement. He was part of an artistic style called Jugendstil, named after a magazine “Youth,” which featured Art Nouveau designs.
The Jugendstil is known for floral designs and natural elements and its later Japanese influence, and abstract styles and is a development of the English Art Nouveau Style. Considered modern, Art Nouveau was a deliberate attempt to create a new style and breaking away from tradition and using impressive line work. The patterning is what stands out in Klimt emotionally expressive paintings.
Gustav Klimt could clearly paint oils in the traditional style, but instead he used materials such as gilding in a unique way and created patterns and richness that has an etherial quality. He used media such as casein paint, gold paint, black and color chalk, graphite, applied plaster, mirror, mother-of-pearl, curtain rings and more.
His experience in mosaics informed his work and he was also commissioned by the to build a large scale mural frieze installation as part of a sculpture exhibition in the Secession Building in Vienna in 1902.
Originally build of light materials the wall was intended to be ephemeral, so it is amazing that it still exists today. The Frieze can be viewed and recently a close up is possible thanks to an installation by Rockenschab.
“Art is a line around your thoughts.” – Gustav Klimt
“I can paint and draw. I believe this myself and a few other people say that they believe this too. But I’m not certain of whether it’s true.” – Gustav Klimt
“All art is erotic.” – Gustav Klimt
“Today I want to start working again in earnest – I’m looking forward to it because doing nothing does become rather boring after a while.” – Gustav Klimt
“Even when I am being idle, I have plenty of food for thought, both early and late – thoughts both about and not about art.”– Gustav Klimt
“If the weather is good I go into the nearby wood – there I am painting a small beech forest (in the sun) with a few conifers mixed in. This takes until 8 ‘o clock.” – Gustav Klimt
“Whoever wants to know something about me – as an artist which alone is significant – they should look attentively at my pictures and there seek to recognize what I am and what I want.” – Gustav Klimt
“On my first days here I did not start work immediately but, as planned, I took it easy for a few days – flicked through books, studied Japanese art a little.” – Gustav Klimt