Nudists Welcome to Tour ‘Nude Men’, an Art Exhibition in Vienna’s Leopold Museum after Covers Up the Exhibition Posters because of Outcry

Después de subir esta entrada, vuelvo a reescribirla al saber de la polémica desatada en Vienna en relación a la exposición que aquí nos ocupa. Y es que no hay nada como unos cuantos desnudos (si son masculinos, mejor) para calibrar de qué pasta general está hecha nuestra sociedad. Mientras la primera reacción a esta exposición fue la demanda para tapar los carteles colgados en la calle y la obra situada en la entrada del museo, un grupo alemán de nudistas solicitó una visita sin ropa al museo que se llevará a cabo próximamente. La muestra, que se ha dedicado exclusivamente al hombre teniendo en cuenta que en las anteriores muestras sobre el desnudo abundaron los femeninos (sic), fue inaugurada en el 19 de otubre del 2012 y ha sido prorrogada hasta el 4 de marzo.

Fuentes de las noticias: Los Angeles Times, Hindustan Times, Huffpost y Dailymail

Controversy: Promotional images such as Ilse Haider's nude portrait 'Mr Big' have provoked complaints from Viennese residents - although some locals seem to be unmoved by the furore

Controversy: Promotional images such as Ilse Haider’s nude portrait ‘Mr Big’ have provoked complaints from Viennese residents – although some locals seem to be unmoved by the furore

Por cierto, no os perdáis cómo la premsa ha ido retrando a “Mr. Big” jugando con la posición de los espectadores, entre otros trucos disimulatorios…

Foto publicada en The Guardian Post

Foto publicada en The Guardian Post

Foto de UK Reuters

Foto de UK Reuters

Nudists welcome to tour ‘Nude Men’ art exhibition in Vienna

Vienna’s Leopold Museum will welcome naked viewers from the public in an after-hours showing of its controversial and popular exhibit “Naked Men”, a spokesman said on Tuesday.
The Leopold, known for its unrivalled collection of works by Austrian artist Egon Schiele, was inspired to invite the public to get naked after an inquiry from a group of German nudists.

“There was a request by an association from Germany for a nude guided tour,” the spokesman said. “We thought about it, and decided it would be a good idea to have a special nude viewing open to the public.”

But he dissuaded any members of the public from dropping by just to gawk at the visiting nudists.

“If you are not a nudist you are welcome to come clothed. But we don’t want voyeurs so it’s better not to be clothed.”

The exhibition, which has been extended to run until March 4, is designed to show the diverse and changing depictions of male nudity in art history.

Among its exhibits is a grotesque self-portrait by Schiele, and a photograph called “Vive La France” of three men of different races wearing nothing but blue, white and red socks and soccer boots.

Together with a special exhibition to commemorate the 150th birthday of Viennese painter Gustav Klimt, “Naked Men” helped boost visitor numbers at the Leopold by 17 percent to more than 364,000 last year.

“We noticed a large increase in young people attending the museum, about 10 percent more,” said the spokesman. “Having both “Naked Men” and “Klimt: Up Close and Personal” brought a lot of people in this past year.”

A German museum-goer was even inspired to imitate the art and strip naked while walking around the exhibition in December. Visitors appeared undisturbed, assuming he belonged to the show.

However, “Naked Men” has caused controversy among more conservative elements of Austrian society.

In October, the Leopold bowed to pressure and covered up the genitalia of the three nude male soccer players used on large publicity posters around the city after they caused outrage among parents and religious groups.

“Their reaction is not a part of liberal thinking in the 21st century,” the spokesman said.

“This is an unprecedented exhibition of male nudity here in Austria, something no other country has done,” he added. “Hopefully it will be replicated around the world.”

A visitor looks at the painting ''Male Torso'' by French painter Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres during a preview of the art exhibition 'Nude Men' at the Leopold museum in Vienna. Credit: Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader

A visitor looks at the painting ”Male Torso” by French painter Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres during a preview of the art exhibition ‘Nude Men’ at the Leopold museum in Vienna. Credit: Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader

Unfortunately it seems that Leopold Museum won’t be the first museum to hold nude art tours. Australia’s Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney held clothing-free tours last year as a way to bring visitors closer to the art and help them gain a new perspective on the museum experience.

‘Nude Men’ art exhibition in Austria sparks conversation

An art exhibition in Vienna titled “Nude Men” — “Nackte Manner” in German — is stimulating considerable media attention in Austria. The show, which opens this week at the Leopold Museum, is dedicated to depictions of male nudity from the 19th century to the present day, and includes paintings, sculpture, photographs and more. But the decision to advertise the show with giant versions of some of the works that will go on display has proved controversial. ‘We got many, many complaints,’ Klaus Pokorny, a spokesman for the museum says.

The Leopold Museum is offering some of the artwork on its website. (Please note the images may be offensive for some readers.) On its exterior wall, the museum has put up a full-frontal image of a naked man created by Austrian artist Ilse Haider, “Mr. Big.” It has been drawing crowds. The museum has now decided to cover the ‘intimate parts’ of the images – and the exhibition will go ahead as planned later this week.

One of the items in the museum show has already proved controversial. A photograph by the French duo known as Pierre et Gilles shows three soccer players of different racial backgrounds naked but for blue, red or white socks, and football boots. The museum has been using the photograph in its advertising campaign, including posters around Vienna.

Reuters reported Wednesday the museum has decided to censor the photograph in certain ads after a number of complaints. The censored image will feature a red rectangle concealing the soccer players’ genitalia.

The museum’s catalog for the exhibition features the uncensored version of the photograph on its cover.

A further sampling of the exhibition: a phallic sculpture by Louise Bourgeois titled “Fillette (Sweeter Version)”; a Bruce Nauman drawing depicting the outlines of five naked men called “Untitled (Five Marching Men)” and Andy Warhol’s poster artwork for the Fassbinder movie “Querelle.”

‘Many people told us that they wanted to, or had to, protect their children,’ Mr Pokorny continued. ‘Some had warned that “if we won’t cover it, they would go there with a brush and they would cover it with colour.” Already somebody did that.’

Despite the provocative nature of the images, the museum has been surprised by the reaction to the posters.

‘We are not really happy about the situation,’ Mr Pokorny added. ‘You always hope that we have made progress, that we are now in the 20th century.’

A statement on the museum website explains that the exhibition offers revolutionary perspective on the human body.

Original work used for the poster

Original work used for the poster

A poster in Vienna advertising for the exhibition that has already been covered (Ronald Zak / Associated Press)

A poster in Vienna advertising for the exhibition that has already been covered (Ronald Zak / Associated Press)

‘Previous exhibitions on the theme of nudity have mostly been limited to female nudes,’ it reads. ‘Thanks to loans from all over Europe, the exhibition “Naked Men” will offer an unprecedented overview of the depiction of male nudes.’

It also describes the show as ‘a long overdue exhibition on the diverse and changing depictions of naked men.’

Exhibits will also include what might be deemed more ‘acceptable’ versions of male nudity, such as paintings on Greek vases and works from the Renaissance.

Located in the famous Museumsquartier (Museum Quarter) of the Austrian capital, the Leopold Museum also features works by some of the country’s major modern artists – including 20th century icons Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt.

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