Egon Schieles sexually charged artworks were created in the early 1900s but still have to power to shock with their explicit depictions of male and female genitalia.
Viennese Schiele died when he was 28, yet within his relatively short life he produced a huge body of masterful work. The Radical Nude focuses on his infamous works depicting both the male and female body, including a breadth of intriguing self portraits.
The exhibition compromises of two rooms, one showing his prolific works on paper from the year 1910, the second showing a range of nudes that the artist was working on up until his death in 1918.
The majority of the works within the exhibition are female nudes, his subjects include his sister, lover, wife and more controversially, prostitutes, adorned with rouged cheeks and dark stockings. Schiele was a master of colour and line; from delicate, sensitive images of children to erotic images of women with bold red genitals that expertly portray sexuality and desire.
Schieles line work is closely associated with his confidence as an artist, his bold, charcoal lined figures a far cry from earlier, delicate pencil creations. His use of colour as representation is also unrivalled, expertly applying carcass inspired pinks, sickly greens and moody purples to represent innocence, death and martyrdom.
The work of Schiele has a unique ability to provoke, shock and intrigue over 100 years after it was first created, and the exhibition seems timely with the prominence of nudity and the expressions of sexuality that flood our mainstream media daily in 2014.
Grown accustomed to the conveyer belt of celebrity nude images? Those who shamelessly use their sexuality to sell more singles? A trip to the Courtauld perhaps.
Words by Siannon Saunders