The Perfect Nude
Curated by Dan Coombs and Phillip Allen
Dates: 13 January – 9 March 2012
Opening event: Thursday 12 January 2012, 17.00 – 20.00
Opening times: Monday – Friday, 10.00 – 17.00
Venue: Wimbledon Space, Wimbledon College of Art, Merton Hall Road, Wimbledon SW19 3QA
In recent decades the idea of the nude has been in decline in art-school: life drawing is no longer practiced widely, ideas and research are currently preeminent. The tradition of teaching painting in British art schools has grown out of non-referential painting, abstraction and formalism; and the objective, realist tradition of painting the figure died with Euan Uglow. Would it not be apposite then, to take a look at this neglected genre? The nude seems ripe for a reawakening; it is an implicitly psychological genre, tapping directly into the artistic psyche.
This show is an aesthetic experiment presenting a comprehensive range of responses to the subject. In part, Coombs and Allen’s interest lies in the idea of imposing a subject onto the participating artists, or taking away the normal responsibility the artist necessarily has for their subject. Or, giving to particular artists a subject they perhaps not normally deal with, as many of the participating artists are abstract painters.
Phillip Allen and Dan Coombs have asked over 100 artists to make paintings of the nude. Many of the paintings will be unseen before the hang, and the artists hope the show will create a rich network of images that will establish a context for representation of the body in contemporary painting.