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SLEEPLESS - The Bed in History and Contemporary Art

As the place of birth, love, illness and death, beds have always been at the heart of human experience and part of the history of art.

Beds are so much part of our daily lives as to go almost unnoticed. Art brings them back to the centre of our perception and Vienna exhibition, in particular, outlines a path that traces the development of the bed in art and its meaning and evolution in society. In this exhibition, the beds reproduced become metaphors for the human condition.

As such, beds are not something private and intimate. In fact, they have conquered a place in history and with John Lennon and Yoko Ono inviting people to “Make love, not war!” from their bed, they've also become a political instrument.

The exhibition Sleepless gathers, as the title suggests, visual translations of things that happen on and around beds besides sleep. The works range from the Middle Ages up to the present and include paintings, sculptures, drawings, photos and videos. They are subdivided into themes (Birth, Love, Solitude, Illness, Death, Political, Violence, Mythical, Anthropomorphic) and arranged according to visual associations.

The exhibition includes works by Diane Arbus, Pierre Bonnard, Agostino Carracci, Gustave Courbet, Tracey Emin, Lucian Freud, Artemisia Gentileschi, Philip Guston, Damien Hirst, Yayoi Kusama, Maria Lassnig, Robert Rauschenberg, Thomas Ruff, Egon Schiele, Antoni Tàpies, Franz West and many more.

SLEEPLESS - The Bed in History and Contemporary Art
30 January - 7 June 2014 @ Belvedere, Prinz Eugen-Straße 27, 1030 Vienna

For more information, please visit the Belvedere website

All images courtesy of The Belvedere, Vienna