Press Release

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

To celebrate European Capital of Culture 2008, Tate Liverpool will present the first comprehensive exhibition of Gustav Klimt’s work ever staged in the UK.

The exhibition focuses on the life and art of one of the world’s most influential and revered artists. It will explore the relationship between Klimt as a leader of the Viennese Secession and the products and philosophy of the Wiener Werkstätte (Viennese Workshop, 1903–32) – a highpoint of 20th-century design. Klimt played a critical role in the foundation and leadership of the Viennese Secession, a progressive group of artists and artisans driven by a desire for innovation and renewal. The work and philosophy of the Secession embraced not only art but also architecture, fashion and the dazzling decorative art objects and furniture of the Wiener Werkstätte, demanding the emancipation of fine and applied art in sophisticated and stunning environments.

Major paintings and drawings from all stages of Klimt’s career will be shown alongside the work of Josef Hoffmann, architect and designer, founding member of the Wiener Werkstätte and a close friend of the artist. Klimt’s spectacular paintings will be displayed in settings that recreate his patrons’ private residences, to illuminate the critical role played by the artist’s collectors and supporters in their search for identity at the turn of the century.

Tickets for Gustav Klimt: Painting, Design and Modern Life in Vienna 1900 go on sale from 10.00 on Thursday 27 September. To book your tickets visit, call 0845 600 1354 or visit Tate Liverpool in person.

To accompany the exhibition there will be a lavishly illustrated catalogue, giving a complete survey of Klimt’s work in relation to the development of interior design, furniture and jewellery. The catalogue will include essays on key works by leading European and American scholars Tobias Natter, Christoph Grunenberg, Beatriz Colomina, Esther da Costa Meyer and Elizabeth Clegg.