The Nakeds

25 September – 29 November 2014

David Austen, Fiona Banner, Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois, George Condo, Enrico David, Marlene Dumas, Tracey Emin, Leon Golub, Stewart Helm, Chantal Joffe, Maria Lassnig, Paul McCarthy, Chris Ofili, Carol Rama, Egon Schiele, Nancy Spero, Georgina Starr, Alina Szapocznikow, Rosemarie Trockel, Nicola Tyson, Andy Warhol and Franz West.

  • View large image Woman in the Bed, 2002

    Maria Lassnig, Woman in the Bed, 2002 Pencil and watercolour on paper, 50.2 x 64.1cm Private collection, New York.

  • View large image The line and the lust, 2011

    Stewart Helm, The line and the lust, 2011 Ink on paper, 50 x 70cm Courtesy the artist, Photo Peter White

  • View large image Bust-Length Figure of a Woman, Headless 2

    Alina Szapochnikow, Bust-Length Figure of a Woman, Headless 2, c.1971 Felt tip pen on perforated paper 32 x 23.4cm Private Collection, Paris Courtesy The Estate of Alina Szapochnikow / Piotr Stanislawski / Galerie Loevenbruck, Paris © ADAGP, Paris. Photo Fabrice Gousset

  • View large image Nude Study (i), 2007

    George Condo, Nude Study (i), 2007 Blue pencil on paper, 30.3 x 22.8cm Courtesy Simon Lee Gallery, London. Private collection UK.

  • View large image I feel something, 1995

    Rosemarie Trockel, I feel something, 1995 Pencil on paper, 31.4 x 21cm Courtesy the artist and Sprüth Magers.

  • View large image Study for The History of Sculpture (4), 2014

    Georgina Starr, Study for The History of Sculpture (4), 2014 Pencil on paper and polyvinyl resin, 21cm x 28cm x 12cm Image courtesy of the artist

A group exhibition looking at drawings of the body exposed. The naked body is frequently the physical terrain artists traverse in search of the inner self. How to represent love, shame, solitude and sexual yearning? Drawing from the self or life model, from reproduction or the imagination, has provided artists with the freedom to explore desires, fears and fantasies.

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The Nakeds takes as its starting point selected drawings of the single figure by Egon Schiele. From here it considers work by artists from the post-war period to the present day. The exhibition will include new work made specifically by Enrico David, Stewart Helm, Chantal Joffe and Nicola Tyson.

The Austrian artist Egon Schiele (1890 – 1918) was a prolific and provocative draughtsman. His drawings of the body unclothed or in a state of undress are amongst the most arresting works to have emerged from Vienna in the tumultuous years around the First World War. Working at the same time as Sigmund Freud, in the birthplace of modern psychiatry, the artist was attacked and acclaimed in his short lifetime. Still dividing opinion today, his drawings tested long-held distinctions between the ‘nude’ and the ‘naked’, art and pornography. The exhibition seeks to explore this contested terrain.

Drawing Room thank the School of Humanities, Music and the Performing Arts, and ‘Innovation for the Creative and Cultural Industries’, Plymouth University for their support of the catalogue and contribution to Gemma Blackshaw’s research. We thank the Polish Cultural Institute and Paulina Latham, Head of Events and Visual Arts, for their support of the inclusion of the work of Alina Sczapochnikow. We thank our Patrons Miel de Botton, Brian Boylan and Veronique Parke for their generous and vital support of this exhibition.