Body of Art

The first book to celebrate the beautiful and provocative ways artists have represented, scrutinized and utilized the body over centuries.

Body of Art is the first book to explore the various ways the human body has been both an inspiration and a medium for artists over hundreds of thousands of years. Unprecedented in its scope, it examines the many different manifestations of the body in art, from Anthony Gormley and Maya Lin sculptures to eight-armed Hindu gods and ancient Greek reliefs, from feminist graphics and Warhol's empty electric chair to the blue-tinted complexion of Singer Sargent's Madame X. It is the most expansive examination of the human body in art, spanning western and non-western, ancient to contemporary, representative to abstract and conceptual.

Over 400 artists are featured in chapters that explore identity, beauty, religion, absent body, sex and gender, power, body's limits, abject body and bodies & space. Works range from 11,000 BC hand stencils in Argentine caves to videos and performances by contemporary artists such as Marina Abramovic, Joan Jonas and Bruce Nauman. Its fresh, accessible and dynamic voice brings to life the thrilling diversity of both classical and contemporary art through the prism of the body. More than simply a book of representations, this is an original and thought provoking look at the human body across time, cultures and media.

Conceived and edited by Phaidon Editors, 2015
440 pages
Published by Phaidon Press, 2015
Hardcover
12 x 9.3 inches



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