The controversial exhibition ‘Nude Men’ mounted by the Leopold Museum in Vienna is to travel to the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. Titled Nude Men: From 1800 to the present day, the show is a survey and celebration of the male form throughout the ages.
The exhibition went viral in January this year after a spate of complaints pulled the marketing posters from public transport and other prominent locations in the Austrian capital . The posters titled Vive la France, 2006, by the French photographers Pierre & Gilles, exposed three nude football players (See above photo) . Local councillors were quick to order a cover up of their private bits, prompting publicity which attracted a crossover audience. This was made up of people that would otherwise have been disinterested in looking at classical art. As a result the exhibition broke attendance records this Winter. As a special feature the museum provided a nude tour of the show for hundreds of nudists.
For centuries exhibitions on the theme of nudity have been limited to female nudes. With the presentation “naked men” at the Leopold Museum a long overdue exhibition on the diverse and changing depictions of naked men from 1800 to the present addressed the many inhibitions that surround the male body.
Thanks to loans from all over Europe, the exhibition “naked men” offers 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 body as well as changes in the concept of beauty, body image and values.
Interesting development: We posted this article up on our facebook page today and it was taken down by the moderators, who deemed it inappropriate content. Guess the dark forces out there are even patrolling facebook.
The exhibition will be on show in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris from 23 September to 2 January 2014, causing few heads to turn no doubt.
Photo: © ‘Viva La France’ by Pierre & Gilles