The Naked Nude

Frances Borzello

The Naked Nude
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The Naked Nude

Frances Borzello

Beautiful, handsome, flawless - the nude in art remained for many centuries a victory of fiction over fact. In this study, Frances Borzello - a skilled communicator with an ability to make us want to look at art and think anew about it - has much to say about modern art and about our contemporary and historical fixation with the body and the nude. The book memorably contrasts the civilized, sanitized, perfected artistic nude of Kenneth Clark’s classic, The Nude: A Study in Ideal Form, with today’s depictions: raw, uncomfortable, both disturbing and intriguing. Grittier and more subtle, both male and female, the new nude asks awkward questions and behaves provocatively. It is a very naked nude, created to deal with the issues and contradictions that surround the body in our time. Borzello explores the role of the nude in 20th- and 21st-century art, looking at the work of a wide range of international artists creating contemporary nudes. Her fascinating text is complemented by a profusion of well-chosen, unusual and beautifully reproduced illustrations. The story begins with an investigation into how and why the nude has survived and flourished in an art world that prematurely announced its demise. Subsequent chapters focus in turn on body art, performance art, new perspectives of women artists, and the nude in painting, portraiture, sculpture - and its most extreme and graphic expressions that intentionally push the boundaries of both art and our comfort zone.

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