new-york

Egon Schiele

Galerie St. Etienne

The adolescent erotics that animate Egon Schiele’s figural drawings have become increasingly clear over time. These works suggest sexual curiosity and experimentation; in fact, they present the body as an experimental configuration of discordant parts, and they offer no consummation, emotional or physical. The genitals seem incommensurate with the rest of the body and irreconcilable with our sense of ourselves as social, civilized beings. dn one magnificent drawing entitled Reclining Girl in Dark Blue Dress, 1910, a startled girl lifts her dark skirts (the clothing signals social inhibitions), offering what can only be described as a bizarre vision of very white genitals; it is as though she is expelling them from the rest of her person. Whether she is deliberately exposing herself in a pathological gesture remains unclear, but she seems as startled by her sex as we are. Indeed, the vast

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