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Saturday, April 1, 2023

Exhibition in Lentos enthusiastic OÖN readers

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Image: VOLKER Weihbold
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“I like the irrepressible power that is in these pictures”says Franz Steinwendtner and looks at Jean Eggers “Flowering trees at Puig de Maria”, in which the Carinthian Expressionist painted the former monastery on Mallorca with bold colors and striking strokes. For him it is amazing that such great art can come about under such bad circumstances.

On Thursday evening, Steinwendtner and his wife attended an exclusive tour of the exhibition for OÖN readers “Jean Egger – revolutionary of modern painting”, which can be seen in Linz’s Lentos until May 27th. Curator Brigitte Reutner-Doneus expertly guided visitors through the show and the life of the artist, who was born in Hüttenberg in Carinthia in 1897 and died in 1934 at the age of just 37.

Up to 150,000 euros

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The visitors learned how the Lentos came up with the idea of ​​dedicating an exhibition to the Carinthian, who has been unjustly largely forgotten today. “We have a work by him in the collection”, said Reutner-Doneus. It shows the church of St. Martin am Silberberg. During a stay in 1929 he created countless oil paintings of this church, but like so many of his works they are privately owned. “We placed advertisements in Carinthia to find more pictures.” Ten paintings can now be seen in the show.

Egger painted his partner Signe particularly often. “They come in all shapes and sizes”, said the expert. She was often a model for him “he tried out new techniques and styles on her”. But why does she look so sad in the pictures? “We do not know it”, admitted Reutner-Doneus. From 1925 to 1932 they lived in Paris. Thanks to sponsors who gave him orders, Egger quickly became well known there. “He was constantly searching for the strongest expression.” Today his works cost up to 150,000 euros.

The show made a great impression on the OÖN visitors, especially Egger’s versatility and expressiveness: “It was very interesting to see how the Carinthian Hans developed into the artist Jean Egger”said about Stefan Svetanic.

But Egger had to overcome a lot of resistance, had hardly any money to live on and suffered from pulmonary tuberculosis all his life, from which he also died.

“He hardly ever left his studio and painted like a man possessed”said Reutner-Doneus. “His work ended abruptly. He is an early accomplished artist.”

At the Sunday matinee tomorrow, 11 a.m., in the Lentos you can hear the correspondence between Sophie Szep-Clemenceau, who painted Egger, and her sister Berta Zuckerkandl. lentos.at

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