Undressing the Nude. Revisiting the History of a Key Genre

Dienstag, 19.03.2024

The Nude has been a central and persistent genre throughout art history with the image of the naked human body spanning centuries. It has been a constant feature from the ancient origins of visual representations, to the ideal of statuary in Antiquity, the classical study of anatomy and the academic training of the fine arts, artistic revolutions of the avant-garde, to the expression of sexual freedom in the 1960s and 1970s, and current feminist, political, social or environmental claims in contemporary art. In his seminal and controversial study The Nude: A Study of Ideal Art, art historian Kenneth Clark admitted the fact that “the subject is extremely difficult to handle.” Indeed, the Nude not only transcends time and space, but it is also versatile as it has forged a multiplicity of discourses and has expressed different values. Whether the ideals of the canon in the Salon, moral and religious values, counter-politics and activism, the undressed body remains a major means of expression in art and its practices. Why has the representation of the naked body been so relentless? How did the various art-historical narratives address and shape this major genre? Does the Nude still exist in art today? Should it? What does it tell is about our relationship to the human body and its representations? This lecture addresses these questions and offers a historical and critical reassessment of this major genre of art history from the 18th to the 21st century.

Dozierende(r): Prof. Dr. Nadia Radwan
19.03.2024:14:15 - 16:00
Ort:2. Etage, 220
Hochschulstrasse 4

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