Modern Couples is about desire, intimacy, liberation, non-binary icons, feminism, homoerotic utopias and revolution. But mostly it is about love – a mad, intoxicating kind of love. Featuring more than 40 avant-garde couples, including Pablo Picasso and photographer Dora Maar and model Lee Miller and Man Ray, this show shines a spotlight on the people who were courageous enough to ‘forge new ways of making art and of loving and living’.
The exhibition explores the influence of the intimate relationships between artists on their work – and suggests that the more exhilarating the relationship, the better the art. But what really grabbed our attention was its focus on the integral role the women played in these relationships. It wouldn’t be going too far to say that without these women, who have generally been dismissed as ‘muses’, some of the most important and iconic work of the past 100 years would never have been made.