The IN FOCUS series in this gallery presents special loans and works from the Ashmolean’s collections for short periods of time. Through the rotation of works the display aims to remain exciting also for regular visitors.
The IN FOCUS artworks currently on display are drawings by Egon Schiele (1890-1918) and Alexej Jawlensky (1864–1941). Both works are acquisitions that entered the Ashmolean's collections recently.
Female Nude by Egon Schiele is drawn with energetic lines, typical of his unique style. The work shows the young artist’s deep concern with the human figure. Portrait of Mrs Kirchhoff by Alexej Jawlensky convincingly conveys the subject’s facial expression. As the wife of art collector and patron Heinrich Kirchhoff, who was a friend and supporter of Jawlensky, she featured in many of his works.
The dynamism that characterize both Schiele’s nude and Jawlensky’s portrait mark the works as examples of Expressionism. Originating in early 20th-century Germany, this interdisciplinary art movement radically broke with all artistic conventions of depicting an external reality by focusing on the artists’ subjective perspectives instead. Both drawings were recently presented to the Ashmolean by Clio Kedros.