In celebration of the lives and work of Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, the Jason Jacques Gallery is presenting a selection of their noteworthy prints this summer, timed to coincide with the centenary of the artists’ deaths. The impetus for the artists’ print projects originated in 1908 when Gustav Klimt and Galerie Meinke in Vienna planned a portfolio-style, print-edition series of his paintings. Schiele and Klimt were close as artists, and when the older artist began producing prints, he urged the younger to follow suit.
The extraordinary prints at the Jason Jacques Gallery originate from several projects monitored by the artists and those pursued at the same level of quality after their deaths, including Klimt’s Das Werk (1908-1914), Fünfundzwanzig Handzeichnungen (1919), and An Aftermath (1931) and Shiele’s Zeichnungen (1917) and Handzeichnungen (1920). Collectively, the prints are remarkable in their ability to produce fine detail, and sometimes bright, true color as a result of collotype printmaking. Collotype is a process that yields high-quality work from a sheet of light-sensitive gelatin, exposed photographically to the image without using a screen. Collotypes were widely used in the 19th century for postcards and photo-printing because the process had the potential for high detail and large output.
Klimt and Schiele saw their prints as a means to broaden the reach of their artistic visions. The clarity of design and success of execution in the prints translate to mesmerizing images that provide a survey of the artists’ oeuvre.