Tomislav Gotovac on view in Linz and Vienna

time: 08.11.2012. - 17.02.2013.
place: Vienna, Linz, Austria
Provokative series of erotic photography entitled Foxy Mister by Tomislav Gotovac will be presented at the exhibition Nude Man in the Leopold Museum, Vienna till 28 January, 2013 as well as within the exhibition The Naked Man at the Lentos KunstMuesum in Linz till 17 february, 2013.

Previous exhibitions on the theme of nudity have mostly been limited to female nudes. With the presentation “naked men” in the autumn of 2012 the Leopold Museum will be showing a long overdue exhibition on the diverse and changing depictions of naked men from 1800 to the present.

Thanks to loans from all over Europe, the exhibition “naked men” will offer 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 model as well as changes in the concept of beauty, body image and values.

The naked man is invisible. Does the male body have nothing to say to us? On the contrary.

This exhibition tells how man has been re-inventing himself since the last century – and how he faces his nakedness. With courage and doubts, with a joy in new ways of living. And how self-confident women artists have conquered a motif that was long forbidden to them.

For centuries, the naked man could only be depicted as a mythological hero or Christian martyr. Around 1900, the first major crisis of male identity changed the view of the male nude. For the artists of Modernism, the naked body, divested of every role, became a means of self-questioning and signifier of socio-political renewal. From this point on, the exhibition follows the naked man through the 20th and 21st century – through crises of identity and phases of selfconfidence, tracing attempts to deconstruct traditional images of masculinity and a search for alternatives, showing the engagement with weakness and vulnerability, illustrating the gaze of desire and the erotic pose.

The scope of artistic positions ranges from Egon Schiele to Ron Mueck and Lucian Freud, Lovis Corinth to Matthew Barney and Artur Zmijewski, Erich Heckel and Robert
Mapplethorpe to Keith Haring and Eric Fischl, Paula Modersohn-Becker to Maria Lassnig, Louise Bourgeois, Katarzyna Kozyra and Elke Silvia Krystufek, Oskar Kokoschka to Gelatin, from Edvard Munch and Károly Ferenczy to David Hockney and Andy Warhol, Gilbert & George, Pierre et Gilles and Gil & Moti – to name only a few.

More than 300 exhibits - loaned works from the USA and all over Europe, as well as more than sixty works from the museum's own holdings – form twelve chapters of a show that investigates the role of the male body across more than a century, in a way that has not been seen before.

The exhibition developed in LENTOS will be shown in an adapted form from 21 March to 30 June 2013 in the Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest.

Tomislav Gotovac (1937–2010) was not only a charismatic and exuberant person with an uninhibited lifestyle, creator of films, performances, photographs and collages but also somebody who designed a whole complex world for himself. He had a special relationship with that world: he was simultaneously its creator and a character appearing in it. He treated his own life as part of his work and its stages as fragments of history which became more and more layered with time. Gotovac's works relate to the multiple elements of the whole, that is his life, his other artworks, politics, his country's history and also, or perhaps even most of all, other directors' films.

Film was Gotovac's main medium of expression and point of reference. He was convinced about a much bigger influence of films on reality than most of us would be prepared to consider: he felt that reality was shaped by the films. He repeatedly watched the same films to the point where the plot and what usually draws one's attention lost significance and the background became significant: the camera movements specific to a given director, the repetition of shots, the frame detail, the traits determining personality of films. The love that Gotovac had for cinema, also connected him to other things: Zagreb, jazz, comic books, Billie Holiday, and politics.

(D.H., 16.11.2012)