Re-Presenting the Nude III

2014 online catalogue

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As we crawl, stand, run, stoop, and begin to crawl again we learn a lot about the wonderful organism that our body is. Whether we believe it was formed by an omnipotent being breathing into a lump of clay, or by forces that caused a coalescence of star dust, there is no escaping its wonderful intricacy. For some of us, parts fail. But there is always something significant of the laws of the universe acting in us. For some, the body is revered as a temple. For others it’s a tool. For all of us, it’s our means of becoming aware of our world and imagining things beyond. As a subject in art, the body has been used to tell stories or admired as an object of beauty. Michelangelo’s David is a masterful carving of a nude young man whose story we know from the Hebrew Bible. The sculptor used scientific observation to carve it with proportions that would seem correct when viewed from below—as its placement was originally intended. The artists in Re-presenting the Nude III rely both on precedent and innovation to depict the body. In media from glass to graphite, they have created images to please us, to challenge us and, perhaps, to titillate us. Although Kathrine Erickson and Elan Varshay at EVOKE give me free rein to put these exhibitions together, it is their commitment to the highest level of content and execution in the work they display in their gallery that make it possible. This international display is only the tip of the iceberg of the work being produced today that celebrates the human form. John O’Hern