fbpx
tag
Site Logo
Don't miss to receive the art world's most entertaining newsletter - every Thursday.
Subscribe
Sign up for the newsletter and receive updates, invitations and lots of inspiration.
This Artist's Signature Is to Paint Male Nudes
Defining the word “slay” long before the social media age…
News 24 May 2019

20190522_SylviaSleigh1_theartgorgeous
Sylvia Sleigh is best known for her paintings of the male nude. While we often think of art history objectifying women, Sleigh showed us the true meaning of a female gaze, glorifying the male anatomy in works that unashamedly gawp at the unclothed masculine physique.
 
Born in Wales, Great Britain, Sleigh spent the majority of her life in New York City where, inspired by feminist principles, she began replacing scenes normally associated with nude women with nude men instead. While her work is highly stylised, it is often viewed as erotic, and she had a number of male muses.
20190522_SylviaSleigh2_theartgorgeous
Here are the five facts you need to known about this pioneer of twentieth-century art:
 
She was a founding member of an all-women’s gallery
In 1973 SOHO 20 Gallery was founded by a group of women artists, and Sleigh went on to paint a number of portraits of women artists. Throughout her life she acquired works of art by over 100 women artists, which were often displayed at the gallery.
 
Her husband was one of her muses
Sleigh’s husband Lawrence Alloway – formerly a curator at the Guggenheim – appears in over 30 of Sleigh’s paintings.
20190522_SylviaSleigh3_theartgorgeous
 
She had a thing for the past
Sleigh is well known for “re-inventing” historical paintings from the art historical cannon, replacing nude women with nude men. Taking inspiration from Ingres, Manet and Titian, she put men into scenes that were previously viewed as feminine.
20190522_SylviaSleigh4_theartgorgeous
 
One of her paintings was once removed from the Bronx Museum of the Arts 
In 1975 a portrait of Paul Rosano was ordered to be taken down because of scope of detail on the male nude. The work was on display in an exhibition of contemporary art made by women called The Year of the Women. When interviewed about it in the New York Times, Sleigh argued that the judge probably would not have objected if the painting depicted a female nude. (And we agree)
20190522_SylviaSleigh5_theartgorgeous
 
She painted women too
Sleigh also made portraits of women, both clothed and nude, showing appreciation for all bodies regardless of gender.
 
Words by Lizzy Vartanian
Images via @gverbaan, @j.c.connelly, @kapfohl, @undertheflowermoon, @jess___eff

You May Also Like

Sarah Rahmanian’s Paintings Contemplate The Ordinary And Mundane Aspects Of Life
Sarah Rahmanian’s Paintings Contemplate The Ordinary And Mundane Aspects Of Life
Pack your bags, it’s time for an arty vacation!
Pack your bags, it’s time for an arty vacation!
Scout Zabinski uses her creative practice as a personal therapy
Scout Zabinski uses her creative practice as a personal therapy
#GoodNews: There Was Pet A Gala This Week
#GoodNews: There Was Pet A Gala This Week
The Art News You Missed While Struggling In The Heat Wave
The Art News You Missed While Struggling In The Heat Wave
#GoodNews - Ever Heard of An Optimism Doctor?
#GoodNews - Ever Heard of An Optimism Doctor?
Subscribe
Sign up for the newsletter and receive updates, invitations and lots of inspiration.

LATEST JOBS

PUBLIC PROGRAMMER
The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) - Melbourne, Australia
Senior Consultant: East Asia
Metis Art - East Asia
Creative roles - digital designers and art directors
Publicis Groupe - Budapest, Hungary
Head of Artist Care M/W
SINGULART - Paris, France
ALL 259 JOBS