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Stephen Pace – Gray Act (65-13)

22nd August 2019

Balasz Takac is a pseudonym for Vladimir Bjelicic, who deals actively with art criticism, curatorial and artistic practice.

Since humans began to express themselves through art, the act became a ubiquitous form of presentation of the human body. From ancient cults celebrating Mother Earth, classical Greek art, medieval sacred art to the Renaissance, when she became a central element of basic artistic education, the nude brought forth various perceptions of beauty, vitality, energy, and art expressing life.

The 20th century brought a renewed perception of the body in the Western world, so that the genre itself changed especially with the appearance of the early avant-garde movements such as Futurism and Cubism. Of course, the act after the Second World War was not so popular because it caused huge atrocities and the general disbelief in humanity. Various social and scientific changes influenced the way artists perceived the act. From the 1

960s onward, there is an increasing number of works exploring the taboo topics such as sexuality, race, motherhood, aging, and so on.

To help you understand the different visions of the twentieth-century act, we have selected nine extraordinary artworks by some of the most famous artists.

Selected picture: Tom Wesselmann – Shiny Nude. All images courtesy of the respective galleries.

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