Male nudes

(Not much about language — mostly art and male bodies.)

Opened last week at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

From the Daily Beast on the 25th, ” ‘Masculin/Masculin,’ a Retrospective of Male Nudity in Art, Opens in Paris” by Sarah Moroz:

“Why had there never been an exhibition dedicated to the male nude until the Nackte Männer at the Leopold Museum in Vienna last year?” speculates the opening panel for a new exhibition, Masculin/Masculin—a sweeping history of male nudity in art—which opens at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris this week.

Why indeed. Female nudity is so omnipresent in art — and seemingly in every other media contex — that, as a society, we’re inured to a woman showing off her body in its entirety. But the male nude, by contrast, has a tendency to go raunchy fast. (An art historian friend was quick to rechristen this exhibit Dicks, Dicks, Dicks.) The Musée d’Orsay seemed to sense this, and thus was swift to state, as a counteroffensive, that: “We must distinguish above all between nudity and the nude: a body simply without clothes, that causes embarrassment with its lack of modesty, is different from the radiant vision of a body restructured and idealized by the artist.”

With this directive in mind, the Masculin/Masculin exhibit showcases more than two centuries’ worth of depictions of male nudes, subcontracting the topic into different thematic strata related to religion, mythology, athleticism, homosexuality, and shifting notions of manliness. Without adhering too strictly to chronology, it includes artists as diverse as Jacques-Louis David, Gustave Moreau, David Hockney, Edvard Munch, Francis Bacon, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Ron Mueck.

I posted in January on the Leopold Museum’s exhibition — first on AZBlogX (in “Dick aversion”, with plenty of illustrations), then on this blog (in “Horror of the penis”).

One Response to “Male nudes”

  1. “Paris Celebrates Male Nudity” But Why Is Their ‘Eye Candy’ Controversial? | Third News Says:

    […] Male nudes (arnoldzwicky.org) […]

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