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Art exhibition of a lifetime; CULTURE YEAR HIGHLIGHT GUSTAV KLIMT Tate's Klimt show may never be repeated.

Byline: BY LIZA WILLIAMS Daily Post Staff

A UNIQUE exhibition of Gustav Klimt opening at Tate Liverpool tomorrow could be the only time the collection will be shown in the UK, according to the gallery's director.

Christoph Grunenberg, Tate Liverpool director and curator of the much-anticipated exhibition - dubbed by Phil Redmond as the highlight of Capital of Culture year - says it could be the only time the works are together in one place.

It is the first time ever a comprehensive Klimt collection has been shown in the UK and includes a full-scale reconstruction of the Beethoven Frieze, a monumental installation by the artist, amongst more than 100 other works.

The exhibition explores the critical role Klimt played in the foundation and leadership of the Viennese Secession, a progressive group of artists and artisans driven by a desire for innovation and renewal.

It also looks at the products and philosophy of the Wiener Werkstatte (Viennese Workshop, 1903-1932) - a high point of 20thcentury design.

The work and philosophy of the Secession embraced not only art but also architecture, fashion and the dazzling decorative art objects and furniture.

During a press preview yesterday, Mr Grunenberg said: "I am extremely happy it has finally happened after many years of work - I think the result is fantastic.

"This is a very special show in a very special year of the highest national standard.

"It could have only happened in European Capital of Culture year, this is the only year we could have pulled it off.

"It is becoming impossible to do these kinds of exhibition because the work is so valuable, so rare, so hard to get.

"It might be the first and only time we see Klimt in the UK.

"If you think about the events happening this year, it is it is one of the key ones, which people will come to see from all over the world."

And Mr Grunenberg says Klimt's place in modern art is becoming more and more prominent: "Nowadays he is up there as one of the key figures of the 20th century, with Picasso, Matisse and Cezanne."

Phil Redmond added: "Klimt is very important, I think it is a great exhibition to have not just because it is the first time it has been done but also because it fits within the psyche of Liverpool.

"Welcome to what is the highlight of Capital of Culture year."

Tickets are now on sale for the exhibition, costing pounds 8 (pounds 6 concessions). They can be booked in advance online at www.tate.org.uk/tickets or by calling 0845 6001354. Pre booking is strongly recommended. The exhibition is open until August 31, seven days a week from 10am to 5.30pm.

LOG on to Liverpooldailypost.co.uk to see Liza Williams's video report on the exhibition and to view a gallery of pictures.

It might be the first and only time we see Klimt in the UK

lizawilliams@dailypost.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

One of the stunning Gustav Klimt paintings at the Tate, entitled Two Girls with an Oleander Pictures: EDDIE BARFORD/ eb280508akl2; Professor Karlheinz Essl, of Vienna, admires Klimt's Portrait of a Woman's Face Code: eb280508bklimt-1; Klimt's portrait of Joseph Pembauer, a pianist Code: eb280508bklimt-3; Putting the finishing touches to the exhibition Code: eb280508bklimt-4
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 29, 2008
Words:547
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