Auguste Rodin, The kiss 1901-04, Pentelican marble, Tate (purchased with assistance from the Art Fund and public contributions), 1953
Credit: Prisma/UIG via Getty Images

Opening tomorrow, a new exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales promises to give Instagram’s wildly archaic censorship laws a run for their money.

Nude: art from the Tate collection, the second component of this year’s fantastic Sydney International Art Series exhibitions, is the culmination of a partnership with London’s eminent Tate museum, which has loaned over 100 major representations of the nude throughout countless art movements spanning romanticism, cubism, expressionism, realism, surrealism and feminism to the AGNSW for the duration of a blockbuster summer season.

Paintings, sculptures, photographs and prints by major artists from the 19th century onwards including JMW Turner, Pablo Picasso, Lucian Freud, Henri Matisse, Louise Bourgeois, Cindy Sherman, Pierre Bonnard and Amedeo Modigliani will be represented throughout Nude, though perhaps the most noteworthy inclusion comes in the form of Auguste Rodin’s iconic sculpture, The kiss, which has left Europe for the first time since its creation at the outset of the 20th century.

At left, John Currin, Honeymoon nude 1998, oil paint on canvas and Ron Mueck, Wild man 2005, mixed media
Credit: Courtesy of the artist © Tate, London 2016 and Tate/NPG Scotland, Marcus Leith

Less erotically charged, though no less astonishing, is Ron Mueck’s hyperrealistic, hirsute Wild man. The London-based Australian artist has developed a reputation as one of contemporary art’s most accomplished sculptors for his larger-than-life figure studies, which are so astonishing in their verisimilitude and intimate in their subject matter that you can’t help but fixate on every minute detail, despite their often grotesque proportions and the uneasy sense of voyeurism that accompanies them. Both stellar inclusions are not to be missed.

Opening November 5, Nude promises to deliver a spectacular tour throughout one of art history’s most diverse and dynamic genres, offering a close encounter with that one constant yet ever-changing subject matter with which we’re all well acquainted, whether Instagram likes it or not.
Nude: Art from the Tate collection will run from November 5 until February 5, 2017. You can find out more information here. 

Tile image: Prisma/UIG via Getty ImagesCover image: Pierre Bonnard, The bath (Baignoire (Le bain)) 1925, oil paint on canvas, Tate: Presented by Lord Ivor Spencer Churchill through the Contemporary Art Society 1930 © Estate of Pierre Bonnard. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney, courtesy and © Tate, London 2016