l’étrangère is pleased to present Artist and Muse, a solo exhibition by Austrian artist Anita Witek. Showcasing her photographic series based on two paintings by Egon Schiele – a self-portrait and a portrait of his model and muse, Wally Neuzil – this presentation was first shown at the Leopold Museum in Vienna earlier this year, where its collection of modern Austrian art is home to the world’s largest collection of works by Egon Schiele. For the exhibition at l’étrangère, Witek will create a site-specific installation that includes a new set of photographs.
Inspired by the tumultuous relationship between Schiele and his model and lover Wally Neuzil, Artist and Muse draws on historical documents and pre-existing visual forms. Witek uses as her source material the posters produced by the Leopold Museum for a display of two Egon Schiele paintings in its collection: Self-Portrait with Chinese Lantern Plant (1912) and Portrait of Wally Neuzil (1912). As is her practice, Witek cut out the main figures from the posters, using the remnants of the background to create new abstract images and forms. Schiele’s expressionistic brushwork, once flattened in the poster reproductions, has now been repurposed as sculptural elements. By enlarging and printing the poster off-cuts onto billboard paper, Witek is able to generate both spatial and tangible installations that push up against the architectural limits of the exhibition space.