László Méhes: Hommage a Yves Klein
THE LINES OF BEAUTY
NUDES IN THE ANTAL-LUSZTIG COLLECTION
1 December 2011 - 26 February 2012
Nude is undoubtedly one of the genres of fine arts that have the most many-sided and most expanded traditions.
We list nude-portraits - solo or group nudes, nudes according to the posture (sitting, laying, standing or male, female) - if we wish to portray the fine art representations of nakedness that continuously play with anonymity as well as with intimacy. The notion of nude, however, in the original etymological sense meant the portrayal of motion and, according to this, presented the position of the model and the transition between the movements. It was only afterwards related to the presentation of the naked human body. Due to anatomical interest the undressed models are listed into the academic studies and the topic of nude is positioned in the tension-field of lust-evoking (and lusting) bodies. In well-performed nudes we may see the meeting of the spontaneous sketchiness and developed image as well as the expression of immortalized motion and the body striving for entirety. In the history of art this genre used to be only the indirect expression of the body floating between revelation and pudency as the biblical and mythological stories in a peculiar way cover nakedness just as much as they show it. This "cultural blanket" of fine arts seemed to be as stable for a long time as the borderline between the living model and the seemingly living artwork. The annulment of the latter one was only achieved by Pygmalion, the legendary artist falling in love with his own creation, a beautiful girl-sculpture.
The exhibition presents a selection from the nude portraits of the Antal-Lusztig Collection. Paintings, sketches, graphics and sculptures got place next to each other in this great thematic unity, mostly the works of classical modernity that not only show nude as the presentations of iconographical topics but primarily as the treasury of the matters of forms: drawing and colours, planarity and plasticity, composition and rhythm. The questions of form-creation naturally cohere with the conditions of perception. In the presentation of the back, for instance, the impossible aim appears of one glance percepting the whole body. The surface of the back separates the intimacy from publicity, back nudes are interpretable in the special playing-filed of nakedness and cover.
In the 18th Century William Hogarth found that he discovered the line of universal beauty in the regular spiral curve. However, modern fine arts teach us that beauty can only have lines: artworks, either in their sketchiness or in their completeness, which address us through our senses.