In its new exhibition Fleischeslust (Carnal Desire) the Galerie Deschler is presenting about twenty works by George Grosz in dialogue with nudes and portraits by Rainer Fetting, Sven Marquardt, Xenia Hausner and Jörn Grothkopp. The works by Grosz were created in the States between 1937 and 1940 and are all nudes, including scenes of the painter with his model, nudes in various poses, dressing and undressing, as well as in sexual interactions. They are juxtaposed with contemporary works by the other artists, mostly, but not exclusively, nudes.
As the title already clearly indicates, the focus of the nudes is on the element of sensual pleasure, be it the voyeuristic pleasure of beholding a nude body or the representation of sexual lust.
The pleasure, however, is not restricted to that of the viewer but can also include the pleasure the model derives from her own body. While Grosz' works are exclusively female nudes, Fetting and Marquardt also include male nudes. Juxtaposing the nudes of these artists shows the development – as well as the range of possibilities – in which the element of erotic lust can take on a decidedly political and critical dimension.