Jonathan Jones thinks the Austrian sex club set up to celebrate the renovation of Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze is a fitting tribute. Indeed, he worries that we’ve let the sex and shock drain out of Klimt:
Nothing the Austrian swingers get up to here – visitors to the Frieze have to walk through a temporary sex club – would have shocked Klimt, or, for that matter, his contemporary Sigmund Freud. These makers of fin-de-siècle Vienna were completely uninhibited. But it’s probably true that Klimt has become so acceptable and popular that an injection of perversity to awaken visitors to the danger and daring of one of his great works is a timely idea.
Indeed, the taking-for-granted of Gustav Klimt is what is really at issue here. Is it the backlash from all those thousands of posters and cards of The Kiss that have been sold over the decades? If you think Klimt is all gold dust and hype, you should look at his eerie square landscapes of beech forests. His opening of art to the inner eye – a kind of psychic Impressionism – is one of modernism’s great breakthroughs.
Sex in an Art Gallery? Klimt Would Approve (Guardian)