The Male Nude


On View: “The Male Nude: Turning the Gaze”
New York Artists Equity Gallery, Manhattan
Through July 9, 2022

Male figure painting
NELSON SHANKS (1937–2015), “Swimmer,” 2010, oil on canvas, 54 1/4 x 34 1/4 in., estate of the artist

The New York Artists Equity Gallery is set to present a group show with the somewhat provocative title “The Male Nude: Turning the Gaze.” Co-curated by gallery director Michael Gormley and Fine Art Connoisseur editor-in-chief Peter Trippi, it contains works in various media by approximately 35 artists who were invited or juried in.

While the female nude has long played a conspicuous role in Western art, the genre’s symbolic scaffolding of gender hierarchy, and the accompanying sexualized objectification (if not exploitation) of women, have rendered in high relief our current culture’s questioning of gender roles and specifically the assumed dominance of the male (predatory) gaze.

“The Male Nude” aims to turn that gaze around and level the visual field through a full-frontal celebration of men’s bodies. It will feature a salon of erotic and non-erotic works in a range of media and styles that explore the compositions, postures, and role-playing within this flourishing yet still underexposed genre.

Almost all of the artists involved are still at work, though a few (like Nelson Shanks, whose “Swimmer” is illustrated here) are deceased.

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