ON EVERYONE’S LIPS
from Peter Bruegel to Cindy Sherman
31.10.2020 – 05.04.2021
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.
photo: Natalia LL, Word, 1971, b/w photograph, 300 × 100 cm, © Natalia LL, courtesy the artist and lokal_30 gallery, Warsaw
photo in the list of entries: 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