Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Naked Audience for Naked Men Exhibit at Leopold Museum, Vienna

Last October, when I visited Leopold Museum in Vienna, I immersed myself with the great Austrian artist Egon Schiele, whose dark paintings covered landscape, abstract, portrait and many nudes of both sexes - intense, twisted, not overtly sensual but elemental (see images below).

DSCN0878 _ Sitzender Männerakt (Selbstdarstellung), 1910, Egon Schiele, Leopold Museum, Wien, 5 October
Sitzender Männerakt (Selbstdarstellung), 1910, Egon Schiele, Leopold Museum, Wien
DSCN0917 _ Drei stehende Frauen (Fragment), 1918, Egon Schiele, Leopold Museum
Drei stehende Frauen (Fragment), 1918, Egon Schiele, Leopold Museum

DSCN0852 _ Leopold Museu, Wien, 5 October
While resting in the Museumquartier, I, along with many other museum goers watched with great curiosity at the installation of a cutout male nude in front of the museum for the next main special exhibit - Naked Men (Nackte Männer), which was programed for the period from 19 October 2012 to 28 January 2013 but was extended to 04 March 2013.  The program description on Leopold Museum's website stated that: 
Previous exhibitions on the theme of nudity have mostly been limited to female nudes. With the presentation “naked men” in the autumn of 2012 the Leopold Museum will be showing a long overdue exhibition on the diverse and changing depictions of naked men from 1800 to the present.

Thanks to loans from all over Europe, the exhibition “naked men” will offer an unprecedented overview of the depiction of male nudes. Starting with the period of Enlightenment in the 18th century, the presentation will focus mainly on the time around 1800, on tendencies of Salon Art, as well as on art around 1900 and after 1945. At the same time, the exhibition will also feature important reference works from ancient Egypt, examples of Greek vase painting and works from the Renaissance. Spanning two centuries, the presentation will show different artistic approaches to the subject, competing ideas of the ideal male model as well as changes in the concept of beauty, body image and values.
It must be a very interesting exhibit but I do not believe that I share the same spirit as the brave nude visitors below, who were not only unafraid of measuring up their bodies to those on canvases, but also able to brave themselves to the winter days in Vienna.

Nackte Männer, Leopold Museum, Wien, 19.10.2012-04.03.2013 (2)

Nackte Männer, Leopold Museum, Wien, 19.10.2012-04.03.2013 (1)

However, as museum visiting experience goes, these men and women made it utterly unforgettable and made this exhibit a much talked-about event.  All power to them, then and who says that the Austrians are square?

DSCN0537 _ Leopold Museum, Wien, 4 October

Related posts on Art · 文化 · Kunst:
- Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele in Wien (Vienna)
- Angelic and Evil - Bunkerei and Palais Augarten in Augarten, Vienna

Label: Austria, Austria and Italy Trip 2012

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