Auguste RODIN, "The Kiss (Le baiser)," (detail), 1901-04
Tate: Purchased with assistance from the Art Fund and public contributions 1953, image@Tate, London 2017
The Nude is a central theme which western artists have always confronted. Symbolizing beauty, expressing love, and reflecting on what it means to be human, artists’ representation of the naked body is also continuously challenging and controversial.
Tate’s renowned collection of historic, modern, and contemporary art includes paintings ranging from late 19th century Victorian depictions of classical mythology and history, to present-day politicized representations of the human body. This exhibition tells the story of the depiction of the naked body over the span of 200 years of western art history.
Sir Frederic Leighton's ”Psyche” presents an idealized nude in a classical setting; Pierre Bonnard and Henri Matisse portray nudity within an intimate domestic space; Rodin's monumental marble sculpture ”The Kiss,” coming to Japan for the first time, depicts the eternal love of a man and a woman. This exhibition also offers surrealist interpretations of the naked body alongside the art of Francis Bacon, a painter who pushed the limits of reality in his expression of the human condition. It also includes contemporary interpretations of the human body by artists such as Barkley L. Hendricks and Cindy Sherman.
Through the presentation of approximately 130 artworks – paintings, sculptures, works on paper and photographs – visitors will see how the representation of the nude has evolved in the context of both artistic expression and shifts in social and political attitudes.