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

Martin Eder

Peter Land

Jonathan Meese

Martin Schnur

Mira Gáberová

Hermann Nitsch

Bianca Maria Samer

Francesco Clemente

Daniel Lezama

Maria Lassnig

Max Streicher

Atelier van Lieshout

Adolf Frohner

Anton Kolig

Karen Holländer

Marcin Maciejowski

Gudrun Kampl

Günter Brus

Rudolf Schwarzkogler

Marc Quinn

Marc Quinn

Franz Ringel

Elke Krystufek

Siegfried Anzinger

Irina Polin

Monika Pascoe Mikyšková

Valie Export

Jörg Immendorff

Ronald Kodritsch

Herwig Zens

Muntean / Rosenblum

Peter Sengl

Georg Baselitz

Patricia Jagicza

Alen Kasumović

Rosa Loy Steffen Junghans

Yang Shaobin

Otto Muehl

Daniel Richter

Virgilius Moldovan

Ilse Haider

Nan Goldin

Marie Luise Lebschik

Herbert Boeckl

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