24 March 2011–14 August 2011
The exhibition Lust & Vice shows examples of how sexuality, virtue and sin have been depicted in art since the 16th century – from an age when the Church preached that sexual contact was only permitted within wedlock to today’s questioning of who erotic art is created for. A total of 200 works are on show from the museum’s own collections, a mix of paintings, drawings, sculptures and applied art. You can also see a genuine chastity belt!
The exhibition includes paintings of women showing their naked bottoms. The erotic allusion in such pictures was long considered sinful, since the act of lovemaking (between husband and wife of course!) required eye contact. Intercourse from behind was something that only animals did. You’ll also be able to see a series of coarse, scurrilous sexual drawings from correspondence between artists Johan Tobias Sergel and Carl August Ehrensvärd. The drawings were extremely private and until now have hardly ever been shown to the public.
Historical depictions of mythological or biblical stories were often an excuse to show a little nudity. At the same time, they carried moralising allusions to the consequences of a sinful life. The moral undertone made the naked images clean and virtuous.
However, in the 19th century nudity caused moral problems, not least at museums, where sculptures from antiquity were fitted with specially made fig leaves strategically positioned to preserve their modesty.
Who has the right to look?
Erotic art has always been around, even though the really “dirty” works were kept from the general public. This type of art only appeared in men’s private quarters. In the contemporary pieces on show in the exhibition, artists such as Kristina Jansson, Gisela Schink and Lars Nilsson question the ownership of the perspective – should erotic art always be viewed by a man?
An exhibition for everyone?
The exhibition does not set out to determine what is right or wrong. We all have our own interpretations of what lust and vice are, and it is always up to the viewer to decide where their personal boundaries lie. However, there is no reason why parents shouldn’t take their children to the exhibition – just be prepared to answer the odd embarrassing question!
Alone in a Brown Room, Annika von Hausswolf.
Full price: SEK 120.
Reduced price: SEK 100.
Reduced price for students, senior citizens, conscripts and groups of 15 or more. Free admission for children and young people under 19.
All programs in swedish
Introduction in Swedish (45 min) in the Auditorium every Tuesday–Friday at 1 PM beginning 29 March. At other times visitors may view an introductory slideshow.
Tuesdays 29 March, 5 April and 12 April at 6 PM. More information on the Swedish web site
Sunday 10 April at 1–3 PM. Virtue, vice and lust from a historical and a contemporary perspective. More information on the Swedish web site.
Love and babysitting, Johan Tobias Sergel.