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.
|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|
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