Artist: Amedeo Modigliani (1884 - 1920)
Confronting Bodies: Paris police
Date of Action: 1917
Location: Paris, France
Description of Artwork: a series of female nudes
The Incident: Modigliani's only one-man show was closed by the Paris police in 1917 when a crowd, drawn by a nude in the window, blocked the pavement outside the gallery. Investigating the complaints, a police inspector examined the work and declared it obscene: the artist showed pubic hair. For similar reasons, a rock was thrown through a gallery window in Toulouse in 1919, and in that same year, when Modigliani's work was shown in London, the press objected to an art "glorying in prostitution." Forty years latter, in 1958, subscriptions were canceled when Life Magazine reproduced a Modigliani nude among its pages; and more recently still, the U.S. postal authorities complained to the Guggenheim Museum about a Modigliani nude sold at its postcard counter.
Results of Incident: The 1917 one-man show was cancelled.