The body is a formidable subject for artists—used to explore physicality and presence, issues of identity and agency, aging and mortality. The Museum’s permanent collection includes many “bodies,” appearing in photographs, sculpture, and paintings. They can be humorous, enigmatic, realistic, and abstract.
William Welsh’s grand painting Burlesque Queen (the artist’s original title, discovered during reframing) is a recent gift. She wears her corpulence—and skimpy costume—with confidence and ease. Other artists represented include Mary Cassatt, Lalla Essaydi, Leon Golub, Carrie Mae Weems, and Francisco Zúñiga. Confronting their distinct works, we can learn to appreciate difference and shared humanity.
image: WILLIAM WELSH, Burlesque Queen, 1941, oil on canvas. UK Art Museum collection: Gift of Loraine M. Sanders
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