The Seductive Line: Eroticism in Early Twentieth-Century Germany and Austria

Exhibition Website

Jan 30 2016 - Jul 10 2016

Presenting more than fifty works on paper, The Seductive Line highlights efforts to visualize the fragility of human subjectivity and the intensity of interpersonal experience through erotic subject matter.

Belonging to stylistically divergent artistic movements, including Expressionism, Jugendstil, New Objectivity, and the Vienna Secession, German and Austrian artists of the early twentieth century imbued the nude with an equally broad spectrum of attitudes toward love, sex, women, and the body. Far from offering mere titillation, many of the works in the exhibition telegraph conflicted feelings toward sexual desire, treating it as thrillingly liberating while also a source of anxiety, danger, and even disgust.

Emphasizing the link between eroticism and the tactile, intimate, and often spontaneous practice of drawing, The Seductive Line also explores drawing’s extensions in reproducible media, from fine art prints and periodicals to books crafted for private enjoyment. The exhibition provides a snapshot of the complex sexual politics of the early twentieth century, when artists celebrated unbridled sexuality as much as they sought to contain or exorcise it.

Exhibition overview from the LACMA website

  • Works on Paper
  • European
  • 20th Century

Exhibition Venues & Dates