2021 Modigliani censored 40x30 s.jpg

#storybehindtheart

On December 4, 1917 Amedeo Modigliani had his first and only one-man show during his lifetime at the Berthe Weill gallery in Paris. The show is censored by the French police since the nudes exhibited in the window were considered too realistic and shocking.

The stubborn and small-statured Weill refused at first, causing the officers to drag her to the station. Her comment is based on her memoirs where she wrote “We took the risk of going modern”. The cherry and peach emojis refer to the breasts and bottom of a woman that cannot be shown. The hashtag #newOlympia link this nude with the scandal of 1865 with the Olympia of Manet. 

In the end, the show could go on, on the condition that the nudes were removed from the windows. The exhibition had been curated by the poet and art dealer Leopold Zborowski, friend of Modigliani. His comment refers to the censorship by some media outlets when the painting Reclining Nude went to auction for $170 M in 2015, as well as the censorship on social media for some artworks.

In this post, Modigliani shares his painting covering the part of the body, using the red and white text made famous by Barbara Kruger, a strong supporter of women rights and freedom of expression.

 

 

Sources: Modigliani: Beyond the Myth, by Mason Klein (ed)

The Forgotten Female Art Dealer Who Championed Picasso and Modigliani, Artsy, Karen Chernick, Artsy

Berthe Weill, The Very First Female Art Dealer in History, Widewalls

Too Nude for the News? Colbert on the Arbitrary Censorship of Art, Hyperallergic, November 2015

Modigliani censored, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 40" x 30" (102 x 76 cm)