Körperbilder: Intimität - Dekonstruktion - Interaktion


The representation of the body is as old as art itself. Whether in a religious context, as a portrait of a ruler or in history painting – images of the body are contemporary witnesses. They address and convey various perspectives of the respective epoch, such as ideals of beauty or gender relations. At the same time, the body repeatedly serves to break with traditional conventions. While the body remained mostly intact until the end of the 19th century, modernism began to dissect it more and more. The focus is less on individual representation and more on objectification with the help of geometric forms. But Surrealism also deconstructs it in parallel from a more subjective point of view. From the second half of the 20th century onwards, its significance becomes more differentiated: it develops from mere representation into an active participant in the art process. The body itself became a vehicle of expression, its movement being captured directly on the canvas as an abstract gesture. In addition to painting, it is also given a new status in performance and conceptual art and is pushed to its limits. A new role is also given to the audience. Its passive behaviour towards the work is replaced by active participation. Whether in the execution of mostly everyday instructions for action or as part of a happening, it is indispensable for the completion of the work of art.

In four chapters this exhibition shows – Body Images, Intimacy, Deconstruction and Interaction – the radical repositioning of the body in the 20th century and traces its diverse meanings and tasks in art from modernism to the present. With works by Alexander Archipenko, George Brecht, Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst, Hermann Nitsch, Allen Jones, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Ernst Wilhelm Nay, Max Pechstein, Niki de Saint Phalle, Katharina Sieverding, Annegret Soltau, Franz Erhard Walther and many more.

Curator: Julia Nebenführ

March 25, 2022 — February 26, 2023

Wilhelm Hack Museum
Berliner Straße 23
67059 Ludwigshafen am Rhein

Tuesday to Friday 11am — 6pm