Body & Soul

6 Apr 2016 – 30 Jun 2016

Essl Museum. Kunst der Gegenwart

Lower Austria, Austria


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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

Elke Krystufek

Ronald Kodritsch

Herbert Boeckl

Martin Eder

Ilse Haider

Monika Pascoe Mikyšková

Marc Quinn

Marc Quinn

Peter Sengl

Valie Export

Daniel Richter

Jörg Immendorff

Herwig Zens

Mira Gáberová

Rosa Loy Steffen Junghans

Rudolf Schwarzkogler

Yang Shaobin

Franz Ringel

Marcin Maciejowski

Martin Schnur

Marie Luise Lebschik

Anton Kolig

Bianca Maria Samer

Irina Polin

Peter Land

Karen Holländer

Atelier van Lieshout

Daniel Lezama

Hermann Nitsch

Patricia Jagicza

Alen Kasumović

Gudrun Kampl

Adolf Frohner

Jonathan Meese

Nan Goldin

Siegfried Anzinger

Francesco Clemente

Günter Brus

Max Streicher

Muntean / Rosenblum

Maria Lassnig

Georg Baselitz

Virgilius Moldovan

Otto Muehl

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