The Body in Contemporary Art

World of Art

The Body in Contemporary Art

  1. Sally O'Reilly
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  • ISBN 9780500204009
  • 21.00 x 15.00 cm
  • Paperback
  • 224pp
  • 251 Illustrations, 202 in colour
  • First published 2009
  • See more books in theWorld of Art Series
‘A whirlwind tour of art since 1990. O’Reilly’s wide-ranging knowledge of contemporary practices and her particular predilection for feminist and performance art make her an ideal guide … engaging writing and insightful observations … will keep any reader on their toes and will surely be eagerly gobbled up by those new to the subject’ – The Art Book
‘O’Reilly’s plain language and the simple structure of the book make it authoritative’ – The Art Newspaper

In recent decades, the body has moved from being the subject of traditional portraiture to become an active presence in live and participatory events. Art historical, socio-political and cultural developments, from radical feminism in the 1970s to contemporary scientific breakthroughs, have all had a profound influence on artists’ attitudes to, and representations of, the human form.

The Body in Contemporary Art presents an international survey of art made since the early 1990s that has the body as its focus. It examines such areas as nature and technology, the grotesque, identity politics and the place of the individual in society.

From painting and sculpture to installation, video art and performance, The Body in Contemporary Art reveals the myriad ways in which the body has inspired a generation of artists. Featuring the work of both renowned and up-and-coming figures, including Francis Alÿs, Marlene Dumas, Matthew Barney, Oleg Kulik, Rineke Dijkstra and Ernesto Neto, this book shows how the body continues to be pivotal to our understanding and expression of our place in the universe.

Sally O’Reilly is a writer and art critic who contributes regularly to Art Monthly, Art Review, Frieze and Time Out. She has written numerous essays for international galleries and institutions, and was co-editor, from 2004 to 2008, of the interdisciplinary broadsheet Implicasphere. She is also a dean of Brown Mountain College of the Performing Arts, an itinerant platform for the production of performative events.