The Nakeds


25 September – 29 November 2014

at Drawing Room, London 

A group exhibition looking at drawings of the body exposed, including work by: David Austen, Fiona Banner, Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois, Paul McCarthy, George Condo, Enrico David, Marlene Dumas, Tracey Emin, Leon Golub, Stewart Helm, Chantal Joffe, Maria Lassnig, Chris Ofili, Carol Rama, Egon Schiele, Nancy Spero, Georgina Starr, Alina Szapocznikow, Rosemarie Trockel, Nicola Tyson, Andy Warhol and Franz West.

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.

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 for The Nakeds 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 and catalogue essays explore this contested terrain.

Notes to press:

The Nakeds has been curated by Drawing Room directors Mary Doyle and Kate Macfarlane in collaboration with artist David Austen and art historian Gemma Blackshaw.

– A fully illustrated catalogue designed by Fraser Muggeridge will accompany the exhibition. It will feature a specially commissioned letter to Egon Schiele by Nicola Tyson and new essays by Gemma Blackshaw and David Austen. 

 – There will be an accompanying public programme of events. More details to be announced at a later date.

The Nakeds will run concurrently with Egon Schiele: The Radical Nude at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London (23 October 2014 – 18 January 2015).

– Drawing Room thanks 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 Szapocnikow. We thank our Patrons Miel de Botton, Brian Boylan and Veronique Parke for their generous and vital support of this exhibition.

 – Painter and filmmaker David Austen’s recent solo exhibitions include End of Love, at Modern Art Oxford and Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University, 2010-2011. His film The Gorgon’s Dream was installed at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2012 and at Rob Tufnell, London, 2013. His work was included in Watercolour at Tate Britain, 2013. As an artist he has curated exhibitions including Edge of the World, Christ Church Mansion, Ipswich, 2001 and Exodus, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, 2003.

 – Gemma Blackshaw is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Plymouth. Specialising in Austrian art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, she curated Facing the Modern: The Portrait in Vienna 1900 (National Gallery London, 2013) and co-curated Madness & Modernity: Mental Illness and the Visual Arts in Vienna 1900 (Wellcome Collection, London; Wien Museum, Vienna, 2009-10). Widely published, her research has been supported by the AHRC, the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust and the Wellcome Trust.

 – Nicola Tyson is a New York–based British artist. Her artist book titled Dead Letter Men, published by Petzel Gallery and Sadie Coles HQ in 2013, includes letters she’s written to a number of deceased artists, including Pablo Picasso and Francis Bacon.

 For further information, images, biographies, or to arrange interviews please contact [email protected] or telephone 020 7394 5657. 

Nude Study (i), 2007

George CondoNude Study (i), 2007
Blue pencil on paper, 30.3 x 22.8cm