Bodyscape: Art, Modernity and the Ideal Figure

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Routledge, May 18, 2006 - Business & Economics - 203 pages
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Western art has long sought to visualize the perfect body. Whether composed from fragments or derived from a single model, this ideal, straight, white body is now in crisis. But what will take its place? In Bodyscape, Nicholas Mirzoeff traces the roots of our current obsession with body images from revolutionary France to contemporary New York. He argues that the representation of the body has always shaped, and been shaped by, crises of political and cultural identity.

Mirzoeff's illuminating study engages with artists' work in painting, sculpture, photography and film, showing the centrality of the body in the work of artists ranging from Leonardo, Manet and Poussin, to photographers Julia Margaret Cameron and Paul Strand, to Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith and Nancy Spero.

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About the author (2006)

Nicholas Mirzoeff is Director of the Visual Culture program at New York University. He is the author of "Watching Babylon: The War in Iraq and Global Visual Culture" (2005) and "An Introduction to Visual Culture "(1999).

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