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

Valie Export

Rosa Loy Steffen Junghans

Herwig Zens

Mira Gáberová

Ilse Haider

Hermann Nitsch

Franz Ringel

Martin Schnur

Günter Brus

Marie Luise Lebschik

Karen Holländer

Yang Shaobin

Rudolf Schwarzkogler

Martin Eder

Peter Land

Irina Polin

Bianca Maria Samer

Francesco Clemente

Daniel Lezama

Patricia Jagicza

Anton Kolig

Alen Kasumović

Atelier van Lieshout

Marcin Maciejowski

Maria Lassnig

Jörg Immendorff

Gudrun Kampl

Peter Sengl

Jonathan Meese

Adolf Frohner

Georg Baselitz

Otto Muehl

Max Streicher

Virgilius Moldovan

Elke Krystufek

Herbert Boeckl

Ronald Kodritsch

Siegfried Anzinger

Daniel Richter

Nan Goldin

Monika Pascoe Mikyšková

Muntean / Rosenblum

Marc Quinn

Marc Quinn

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