Vienna’s Leopold Museum, under an initiative called A Few Degrees More has tilted 15 paintings by the number of degrees unchecked climate change could affect the landscapes depicted. Developed together with the research network Climate Change Center Austria, the action runs until late June.
The initiative comes after climate activists poured black liquid over a glass screen protecting a Klimt piece at the museum. “We want to contribute to raise awareness of the dramatic consequences of the climate crisis,” said Leopold Museum Director Hans-Peter Wipplinger.
Paintings by Klimt, Schiele and Richard Gerstl are among those chosen for the initiative. Gustav Klimt’s well-known Attersee lake painting has been tilted by two degrees, while Egon Schiele’s painting of a tree in late autumn is being rotated by five degrees.
The tilted paintings drew varied reactions from visitors. Some of the guests were sad being reminded of what’s going to be lost with the tilted paintings, while others were less impressed, suggesting that the representation “trivializes climate change” and was too easy to get used to the tilted works.
The Leopold Museum, with its 6,000 artworks, houses one of the world’s most important collections of Austrian art, focusing on the second half of the nineteenth century and subsequent Modernism.