24 MAY – 23 SEPTEMBER 2018

This project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme with additional support from Tate Liverpool Members

Tate Liverpool presents an exhibition that highlights the expressive nature of the human body, seen through the eyes of two influential and innovative artists. Life in Motion combines the work of radical Austrian expressionist Egon Schiele (1890 – 1918) and American photographer Francesca Woodman (1958 – 1981), and investigates their incredible ability to capture and suggest movement to create dynamic, extraordinary compositions.

Working at either end of the twentieth century, Woodman’s photographs help to refocus how we see the work of Schiele, highlighting how the latter’s practices and ideas continue to have a relevance to contemporary art. Renowned for their nude portraits and self-portraits, Schiele and Woodman lay bare their subjects’ raw emotional state and physical tensions in intimate and unapologetic work.

Life in Motion: Egon Schiele/ Francesca Woodman sheds new light on the intensity and passion shared and conveyed by these two artists, whose approaches have resulted in the portrayal of candid moments. Schiele used quick marks and sharp minimal lines to reflect the animated energy of his models, while Woodman employed long exposures to create a blurred image that captures extended yet unsteady moments in time. The exhibition offers the viewer a close and intimate encounter with these personal and powerful works.

Ten years on from Tate Liverpool’s acclaimed Gustav Klimt exhibition, the gallery showcases the works of his protégé, Schiele, on the 100th anniversary of his death. The exhibition offers a rare opportunity to see a large number of his drawings in the North of England, bringing attention to the artist’s technical virtuosity, distinctive vision and unflinching depictions of the human figure.

One of the most prominent exponents of Austrian expressionism, Schiele developed a distinctive and daring style. Viewed by some as controversial, he frequently depicted tortured and emaciated figures in his drawings. His models are often in a state of emotional and psychological flux, posed with contorted bodies and twisted limbs. The exhibition highlights the breadth of Schiele’s practice, beyond his erotic depictions of women, this includes a number of self-portraits and also illuminates an evolution in his approach to line and colour.

Francesca Woodman was one of the most innovative photographers of the second half of the 20th century. During her short, but exceptionally productive career, she produced a large number of striking, surreal and often humorous photographs. Woodman worked at the intersection of performance art, choreography and architecture. Her black and white photographs express a heightened awareness of her surroundings, interacting or merging with the often deteriorating space around the artist. The direct, uncompromising images depict the existential complexity of an identity in a permanent state of transition. The exhibition will include images from My House Series, Providence, Rhode Island1976 and Eel Series, Roma, May 1977 – August 1978.

Life in Motion: Egon Schiele/ Francesca Woodman is curated by Marie Nipper, Interim Artistic Director, and Tamar Hemmes, Assistant Curator, Tate Liverpool.

This project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme


Egon Schiele, 1890-1918 
Standing male figure (self-portrait)


Gouache and graphite on paper
460 x 305 mm
National Gallery, Prague
Photograph © National Gallery in Prague 2017