through 18 May 2019 // Chaussee 36, Berlin
The group exhibition Women on View: Aesthetics of Desire in Advertising will be on view at Chaussee 36 in the heart of Berlin as of February 2nd, 2019.
The depiction of the nude and its ideal human figure holds a long tradition in Western art. Still, Modernity liberated nudity from religious or allegorical contexts and showed it openly, naturally and often in connection with Eros. Today, images of the naked body, most especially female, have proven so omnipresent that the advertising landscape would be unrecognisable without them. Since the dawn of advertising, the female body has been used to heighten the marketing appeal of products, while male nudity was barely touched until the late 20th century. Accordingly, models in advertising embody the ideal image of Western female beauty. Yet for decades there has not been a uniform canon, which can be traced back to the changing ways in which female figures have been presented over the years. In fashion and advertising photography in particular, there has been a noticeable paradigm shift from the sale of products to the sale of lifestyles.
The group exhibition Women on View addresses the eroticization of the female body in advertising photography – starting with early product advertising from the 1940s, through the era of the hyper eroticization of women in the 1990s, to contemporary positions in advertising photography. The exhibition features legendary posters and photographs by renowned artists such as Horst P. Horst, Erwin Blumenfeld, Helmut Newton, Peter Lindbergh, Herb Ritts, Irving Penn, and Jeanloup Sieff, to name a few. On the one hand, the exhibition illustrates the various ways in which women are portrayed in advertising. On the other hand, it questions the reciprocal influences of fashion and commercial photography in the creation of aesthetic standards...