« ON EVERYONE’S LIPS, FROM PIETER BRUEGEL TO CINDY SHERMAN » – october 31, 2020 – april 5, 2021 – Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (DL).

Mouth, lips, tongue, and teeth; speech, pain, and screaming; eating, devouring, spitting, and spewing; lust and passion: The oral cavity is a literally stimulating bodily zone. Not only have science and medicine always been involved in the exploration of the oral cavity, but also art and cultural history, from antiquity to the present. The Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg traces this broadly diversified path of the history of the motif within the frameworks the exhibition On Everyone’s Lips. From Pieter Bruegel to Cindy Sherman. With over 250 works of art by, among others, Albrecht Dürer, Pablo Picasso, Max Klinger, Marina Abramović, Andy Warhol, and Louise Bourgeois, it is the most comprehensive exhibition on the theme of the oral cavity in art in Germany to date.

The broadly conceived exhibition is devoted to monster mouths (Alfred Kubin) and vampire bites (Edvard Munch), considers the mouth as a Hellmouth and gateway to the “world-innerspace” (Pieter Bruegel). Dental culture, in turn, is illuminated in a variety of ways, from the tooth breaker in Jan Steen’s work and the depiction of the patron saint of dentists, Apollonia, in the work of Andy Warhol to tooth jewelry from non-European cultures. Mona Hatoum penetrates into the esophagus, while artists such as Man Ray and Anselmo Fox capture their breath in glass, soap, or chewing gum bubbles. And finally, the aesthetics of the lips, heightened in the kiss and oral libido, is a subject that Wolfgang Tillmans, Natalia LL, Picasso, Marilyn Minter, and many others address with their works in the exhibition. On Everyone’s Lips comprises paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, drawings, prints, and video art, juxtaposed with individual exhibits from ethnological and scientific collections, film and advertising, music and literature.

The exhibition On Everyone’s Lips has been curated by Uta Ruhkamp and developed in cooperation with the cultural scholar Hartmut Böhme and the dentist Beate Slominski.

The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive, richly illustrated publication. With specialized thematic essays, it offers not only in-depth content, but also extends beyond the exhibition itself. The mouth is thus also examined with regard to its various components and capabilities within the fields of cinematic history, ethnology, literary studies, and architecture. With contributions by Andreas Beitin, Hartmut Böhme, Horst Bredekamp & Kolja Thurner, Roland Garve, Birte Hinrichsen, Olaf Knellessen, Harald Lemke, Karin Leonhard, Jürgen Müller, Uta Ruhkamp, Marcus Stiglegger, and Ulrike Vedder. Hatje Cantz Publishers, separate German and English editions, each ca. 350 pages, with 350 illustrations. Available for 45 euros in the museum shop or at kunstmuseum.de/shop.

Hans von Aachen (Umkreis), Marina Abramović & Ulay, Vito Acconci, Nobuyoshi Araki, Arman, Dirck Barendsz, Lenora de Barros, Franz von Bayros, Dirk Bell, Johannes Bendzulla, Bernhard Johannes Blume, Louis-Léopold Boilly, Hieronymus Bosch (Nachfolger), Louise Bourgeois, Pieter Bruegel d. Ä., Anton Büschelberger, Luca Cambiaso, Javier Castro und Luis Gárciga, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Francesco Clemente, Otto Coester, Tony Cragg, Lucas Cranach d. Ä., Walter Crane, Martin Creed, John Currin, Natalie Czech, Thomas Demand, François Desprez, Birgit Dieker, Mark Dion, Cheryl Donegan, Albrecht Dürer, Bogomir Ecker, Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, Antje Engelmann, Fantich & Young, Harun Farocki, Thomas Feuerstein, Urs Fischer, Anselmo Fox, Moritz Frei, Lieselotte Friedlaender, Gauri Gill, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, Vivian Greven, Robert Haiss, Richard Hamilton, Johann Gottlieb Hantzsch, Mona Hatoum, Eberhard Havekost, He Xiangyu, Egbert van Heemskerck d. J., Jeppe Hein, Gottfried Helnwein, Gary Hill, Klara Hobza, Jenny Holzer, Benjamin Houlihan, Lisa Junghanß, Michael Kalmbach, Isabell Kamp, Christian Keinstar, Johann Georg Kern (zugeschr.), Walther Klemm, Max Klinger, Christoph Knecht, Herlinde Koelbl, Kurt Kranz, Alfred Kubin, Mathäus Küsel, Raimund Kummer, David LaChapelle, Maria Lassnig, Lucas van Leyden, Lee Lozano, Sarah Lucas, Anna Maria Maiolino, Jeanne Mammen, Man Ray, Jan Mandyn, Fabian Marcaccio, Christian Marclay, Teresa Margolles, Oliver Mark, Bernhard Martin, Kris Martin, Jonathan Meese, Ulrich Meister, Isa Melsheimer, Ana Mendieta, Charles Meryon, Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, Duane Michals, Marilyn Minter, Edvard Munch, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (zugesc).

Images: 1- (above) Rona Pondick, LITTLE BATHERS (DETAIL), 1990/91
plastic, 500 unique pieces, each 6,35 x 12,06 x 10,16 cm
Marc and Livia Straus Family Collection
© Rona Pondick, courtesy the artist and Marc Straus, New York
2- Anselmo Fox, Zartbitterzart… (Detail), 2000, chocolate bar, human teeth, measurements variable © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020, courtesy the artist

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