back to News Overview
Media File
26 Oct 2012 – 17 Feb 2013
The Naked Man

LENTOS Kunstmuseum, Linz, Austria

Curators: Sabine Fellner, Elisabeth Nowak-Thaller and Stella Rollig
Loan by Kontakt: Artur Zmijewski, KRWP, 2000

Press Release

The naked man is invisible. Does the male body have nothing to say to us? On the contrary.
This exhibition tells how man has been re-inventing himself since the last century – and how he faces his nakedness. With courage and doubts, with a joy in new ways of living. And how self-confident women artists have conquered a motif that was long forbidden to them.

For centuries, the naked man could only be depicted as a mythological hero or Christian martyr. Around 1900, the first major crisis of male identity changed the view of the male nude. For the artists of Modernism, the naked body, divested of every role, became a means of self-questioning and signifier of socio-political renewal. From this point on, the exhibition follows the naked man through the 20th and 21st century – through crises of identity and phases of selfconfidence, tracing attempts to deconstruct traditional images of masculinity and a search for alternatives, showing the engagement with weakness and vulnerability, illustrating the gaze of desire and the erotic pose.

The scope of artistic positions ranges from Egon Schiele to Ron Mueck and Lucian Freud, Lovis Corinth to Matthew Barney and Artur Zmijewski, Erich Heckel and Robert Mapplethorpe to Keith Haring and Eric Fischl, Paula Modersohn-Becker to Maria Lassnig, Louise Bourgeois, Katarzyna Kozyra and Elke Silvia Krystufek, Oskar Kokoschka to Gelatin, from Edvard Munch and Károly Ferenczy to David Hockney and Andy Warhol, Gilbert & George, Pierre et Gilles and Gil & Moti – to name only a few.
More than 300 exhibits - loaned works from the USA and all over Europe, as well as more than sixty works from the museum's own holdings – form twelve chapters of a show that investigates the role of the male body across more than a century, in a way that has not been seen before.