Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

“So terribly, terribly, terrifically fat”: Rethinking Jenny Saville's grotesque female bodies
by Castaneda, Maria Joscelyne, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2009, 121; 1472266
Abstract (Summary)

Jenny Saville's unusual take on the figure has framed her paintings within a context all too receptive to the cultural biases constructed around fat and female bodies. In order to rethink the fleshy, expansive bodies that Saville portrays, I position her art historically within a contemporary shift away from traditional figuration towards a new, more visceral focus on the body. The broader body politics within which she works are also examined through a historical study of how hysteria has become aligned with eating disorders, resulting in a cultural affliction that makes the female body a site of public domain and critique. Rather than reading Saville's bodies as examples of fat and repulsion, I suggest that her oversized female bodies be viewed as embodiments of Mikhail Bakhtin's concept of the grotesque body—a liberating and boundless body capable of subverting hierarchical systems and standardized norms.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kleinfelder, Karen L.
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 48/02M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Art history, Womens studies
Keywords: England
Publication Number: 1472266
ISBN: 978-1-109-47203-5
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