BODIES RECONSIDERED

Looking at the painted and sculpted bodies featured in the permanent collections of the world’s greatest museums, one cannot help but notice a bodily ideal. It was introduced by the Greeks, who saw it as a reflection of order and logic, and then revived in the Renaissance and the academic painting of the 18th and 19th centuries in Western Europe. It was the modernists, who, as part of their anti-logical project, challenged body standardization in aesthetic practice, deconstructing the notion that an ideal should exist at all. Contemporary artists continue in this vein, creating a multiplicity of body types and configurations, developing a position that is decidedly against a singular definition of beauty.