In the Spring quarter of 2020, the interns in the AD&A Museum Internship Program were invited to curate online exhibitions utilizing the Museum’s Fine Arts Collection and Architecture & Design Collection. We are proud to present the work of guest curator Noelle Barr, a senior at UC Santa Barbara, with majors in Art History and Music.
Moses Soyer (b. Russia, 1899-1987), Thoughtful Nude, 1970, Oil on canvas, 25 x 20 in. Gift of David and Jane Soyer
In the Western cultures, the depiction of a woman’s bare figure upholds a power structure built upon both objectifying the construct of femininity and satiating bodily desires through visual idealization. The Western canon of art has been written to privilege a white, male, heterosexual, cisgender artist. It has repeatedly excluded the woman, dismissing her as the secondary gender, contributing to the artistic genius heritage while concurrently submitting the woman to the male gaze.
Unknown Artist, Nude, last half 19th c., Tintype, Gift of Dr. Bancroft
The works on view here illustrate some female nudes in the Art, Design & Architecture Museum. Each image expresses associations with the break from academic painting, maternal iconography, exoticism, gender displacement, and the power dynamics that surface within an artist-sitter relationship. In the Nude provokes the paradoxical inclusive-exclusive submission of the female body in the fine art record, presenting works by Isabel Bishop, William Brice, Chaim Gross, John Nava, and Moses Soyer.
William Brice (b. United States, 1921-2008), Figure and Red Rock, ca. 1965, Oil and magna on canvas 17 x 15 ⅛ in. (framed), Gift of Lynn K. Altman Family Trust
Chaim Gross (b. Austria 1904-1991), Untitled (Mother and Child Nude), 1975, Sepia wash, graphite, 17 ⅞ x 12 ¾ in., Gift of Mrs. Chaim Gross
John Nava (American, b. 1947), LC2 (2015), Oil on panel, 16 1/2 x 13 ½ in., Gift of the artist
Title image: Isabel Bishop (b. United States, 1902-1988), Seated Nude, n.d., Ink, wash, 8 x 6 ⅝ in., Gift of Irma Cavat