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A Nervous State of Affairs: Art in Vienna and Weimar Germany

As a tottering Austro-Hungarian Empire worked at its decorative façade and high society waltzed on regardless, new impulses were simmering beneath the surface in fin-de-siècle Vienna. From Gustav Klimt’s glittering imagery to the visual angst of Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele, there is plenty to analyse in the turn-of-century Vienna. On the other side of the border, the Weimar Republic was also undergoing drastic social changes and a dizzying variety of cultural expressions. We revisit the turbulent era that nonetheless set the standard for creative progress, a century ago: from Expressionism’s last breath to the sober outlook of die Neue Sachlichkeit; landmarks of Bauhaus design; architecture, painting, photography and cinema. Everything was in the mix of this fertile ground, abundant in contradictions and where all that glittered was not gold.

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