Body & Soul

6 Apr 2016 – 30 Jun 2016

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"The body is a visible translation of the soul" (Christian Morgenstern). Different positions on questions of the body.


What attitude do we take today vis-à-vis our body and sexuality? In the 20th century, Western society revolutionised and redefined its relationship with the body, but also brought problematic aspects to light. Artists reflected these developments, of course, particularly after 1945. Post-war Austria saw the head-on confrontation between hypocritical sexual morals and far-reaching denial and sub-culture avant-gardes striving to overcome these obstacles. Vienna Actionism, a movement that produced art which still has the power to shock, is now considered one of the most significant achievements of Austrian art. Body & Soul is devoted to a subject widely represented in the Essl Collection, the human body in all its facets. The exhibition places the topic in a wider social context and traces its evolution up to the present. The human body may serve as platform for the expression of inner states and feelings, as exemplified by Maria Lassnig’s body awarenes paintings; it can be a metaphor for metaphysical notions, or, as in Marc Quinn’s sculpture Allison Lapper, it may celebrate beauty beyond social norms.


Andreas Hoffer

Exhibiting artists

Ilse Haider

Muntean / Rosenblum

Gudrun Kampl

Monika Pascoe Mikyšková

Günter Brus

Mira Gáberová

Herwig Zens

Jonathan Meese

Hermann Nitsch

Yang Shaobin

Franz Ringel

Nan Goldin

Martin Schnur

Marie Luise Lebschik

Rudolf Schwarzkogler

Peter Land

Rosa Loy Steffen Junghans

Bianca Maria Samer

Irina Polin

Jörg Immendorff

Daniel Lezama

Patricia Jagicza

Elke Krystufek

Anton Kolig

Siegfried Anzinger

Francesco Clemente

Alen Kasumović

Georg Baselitz

Karen Holländer

Atelier van Lieshout

Peter Sengl

Valie Export

Adolf Frohner

Martin Eder

Marc Quinn

Marc Quinn

Marcin Maciejowski

Daniel Richter

Virgilius Moldovan

Otto Muehl

Maria Lassnig

Max Streicher

Ronald Kodritsch

Herbert Boeckl

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