Kiss. From Rodin to Bob Dylan

15 June to 3 October 2017

The kiss: a minor gesture that has served as a great inspiration for art. Hardly any other ritual in our culture has exerted such a powerful fascination for such a long time. The ambivalence and ambiguity of the kiss have had a great resonance in art, beyond romantic notions of love and passion. Around 1900, art was virtually obsessed with the subject. Art nouveau discovered the ornamental qualities of the motif, and in symbolism the deadly kisses of creatures like the sphinx or the vampire became very popular. After the First World War, a fascination for the art of the kiss remained alive and well and reached another climax in expressionism. In the 1960s, the kiss took on new, sometimes political meanings against the backdrop of artistic and social debate. Subjects like identity, feminism, (homo)sexuality, and the body still interest artists today.

The exhibition begins with art from the late 19th century and traces the motif until the present day. It explores the complex meaning of art and reveals a broad panorama of kisses in various genres: beside painting, graphic design, sculpture, and applied art, there are also examples from photography, film, video art, installation, performance, medical history, and advertising, featuring works by artists such as Auguste Rodin, Franz von Stuck, Edvard Munch, Peter Behrens, Juergen Teller, Timm Ulrichs, Marina Abramović, Cornelia Schleime, and Bob Dylan. The exhibition will include an extensive auxiliary program and a catalogue will be published.

Supported by: Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin, Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung, Freunde des Bröhan-Museums e.V. Mediapartner: Wall GmbH, Kulturradio vom RBB, flair, H.O.M.E

Curator: Dr. Anna Grosskopf

Advertising motif: Gerwin Schmidt, 2017, caption: Axel Poulsen (Detail), Erste Liebe, 1909, Kunsthandel Gronert, Berlin, photo: Martin Adam, Berlin © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017