From time immemorial, representations of people have not only outwardly depicted them but lent cogent form to fundamental ideas about being human. While in earlier centuries the portrait genre in particular was predestined to reflect the human image, today art is increasingly turning to the human body as a whole.
The exhibition "From Head to Toe. Human Images in the Focus of the Würth Collection" invites you to a fascinating "scenic discourse" concerning the changes and constants in the human image, occupying 2,600 square meters at the Kunsthalle Würth. Paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations by more than 100 artists shed light from diverse points of view on the perception of and involvement with beauty, transcience, expressive force, self-questioning, and standardization of the human form. The exhibition, with its approximately 200 portraits and depictions of the figure, is capable of providing surprising new insights into its well-known incunabula. Yet the majority of the items, including spectacular recent acquisitions, have never before been on view at the Kunsthalle.
The exhibition focuses on works from the past 125 years, by artists including Claude-Émile Schuffenecker, Gustav Klimt, Wilhelm Trübner, Pablo Picasso, George Grosz, Christian Schad, Jaume Plensa, Tony Oursler, and Marc Quinn. Yet the point of departure is an idealized Fettered Slave by Leonhard Kern (1588–1662). The piece was created during a period in which no sharp dividing line was drawn between artificialia and naturalia, man-made and God-created things. Over the following centuries, when the theory of evolution, the results of epistemology, and the experience of world wars led to an abandonment of the notion of man as the crown of creation, artists began in the twentieth century to explore human extremes instead. Today, the borderline between the man-made and nature has again become so blurred that many speak of the post-biological age and the body as an option.
The exhibition offers an entertaining challenge to discover clues in the current spectrum of artists' views of the world and obsessions. Naturally it also represents another voyage of discovery through the Würth Collection, this time revealing shared and contrasting approaches to body and soul. Perhaps it may even occasionally succeed in making apparently unbridgeable gaps comprehensible.
Artists in the Exhibition
Magdalena Abakanowicz, Max Ackermann, Hans Peter Adamski, Horst Antes, Siegfried Anzinger, Axel Arndt, Hans Arp, Stephan Balkenhol, Hans Baschang, Georg Baselitz, Victor Bauer, Willi Baumeister, Walter Becker, Max Beckmann, Gerda Bier, Wolfgang Bier, Herbert Boeckl, Fernando Botero, Louise Bourgeois, Günter Brus, Daniele Buetti, Holger Bunk, Anthony Caro, Jake und Dinos Chapman, Sandro Chia, Giorgio de Chirico, Christo, Francesco Clemente, Walter Dahn, DDi- Arte, Otto Dix, Peter Dreher, Jean Dubuffet, Max Ernst, Tim Ernst, Jan Fabre, Rainer Fetting, Till Freiwald, Katsura Funakoshi, Stefanie Gerhardt, Gilbert & George, Alberto Gironella, Antony Gormley, Jonathan Green, George Grosz, José de Guimarães, Andreas Haider, Rudolf Hausner, Xenia Hausner, Axel Heil, Peter Herkenrath, David Hockney, Karl Horst Hödicke, Sabine Hoffmann, Romane Holderried Kaesdorf, Alfred Hrdlicka, Karl Hubbuch, Andres Ilg, Jörg Immendorff, Ritums Ivanovs, Alexej von Jawlensky, Julius Kaesdorf, Tadeusz Kantor, Alex Katz, Leonhard Kern, Anselm Kiefer, Hans Kindermann, Jürgen Klauke, Fritz Klemm, Gustav Klimt, Christof Kohlhöfer, Willibald Kramm, Rainer Küchenmeister, Thomas Lange, Fernand Léger, Max Liebermann, Martin Liebscher, Uwe Lindau, Carl Walter Liner, Wilhelm Link, Alberto Magnelli, Jacek Malczewski, Franz von Matsch, Harding Meyer, Igor Mitoraj, Amedeo Modigliani, Piet Mondrian, Henry Moore, Edvard Munch, Aurélie Nemours, Marcus Neufanger, Hermann Nitsch, Tony Oursler, Claus-Otto Paeffgen, Wolf Pehlke, A. R. Penck, Pablo Picasso, Jaume Plensa, Peter Pongratz, Marc Quinn, Arnulf Rainer, Markus Redl, Gerhard Richter, Klaus Rinke, Dieter Roth, Lisa Ruyter, Christian Schad, Robert Schad, Oskar Schlemmer, Claude Émile Schuffenecker, Günter Silwa Sedlak, Gary Stephan, Robert Sterl, Artur Stoll, Donna Stolz, László Szabó, Wilhelm Thöny, Hann Trier, Jan Peter Tripp, Sebastian Tröger, Wilhelm Trübner, Lun Tuchnowski, Johannes Vetter, Gabriel Vormstein, Elisabeth Wagner, Franz Erhard Walther, Andy Warhol, Felix Weinold, Lambert Maria Wintersberger, Rainer Wölzl, Walter Wörn, Erwin Wurm, Karl Maximilian Würtenberger, Klaus Zylla