The first book to celebrate the beautiful and provocative ways artists have represented, scrutinized and utilized the body over centuries.
Examines art through that most accessible and relatable lens: the human body.
There are no directly comparable titles in the market; this is the only book to examine the subject in such depth and scope.
Diverse and multi-cultural, it explores the manifestations of the body through time, cultures and media.
Visually arresting, this book will surprise, inspire and inform art lovers everywhere.
Over 400 artists featured: works range from 11,000 BC hand stencils in Argentine caves to videos and performances by contemporary artists such as Marina Abramovic, Joan Jonas and Bruce Nauman.
Follows in the tradition of bestsellers such as The Story of Art, The Art Book, The Photography Book, and 30,000 Years of Art.
Size: 305 x 238 mm, 12 x 9 3/8 in
Pages: 440 pp
Illustrations: 440 colour illustrations
Nos 1 Holiday Art Book —Artnet
"Body of Art juxtaposes Sandro Botticelli's Venus with Vanessa Beecroft's army of naked women, the iconic head of Nefertiti, and the work of Ryan Trecartin, among many other artists, to stunning effect. Highly recommended." —Artnet
"A few months ago, Body of Art arrived in the post. I plonked it down on a coffee table pile. I've lost count of the number of times I've picked it up since. One moment I am talking to a visitor, the next they have vanished into a gawping reverie as they flip, fascinated, through its pages." —The Independent
"A sumptuous and continually surprising survey... The editors have grouped their pictures in thought-provoking ways... Short interpretive texts make the correspondences more resonant." —RA Magazine
"A browser's delight, its chief virtue is juxtaposition... Body of Art is one of those compendious volumes so useful for looking things up." —The Spectator
"The editors of Body of Art... had a daunting amount of material from which to choose for their survey of the human body across centuries and cultures. They have done so with real imagination, deftly mixing the old... with the new... and juxtaposing them in themes... The effects - and the similarities and differences - are continually surprising." —The Sunday Times
"An extensive survey of unique and diverse representations of the human body... guaranteed to impress art and anatomy lovers alike." —Interview.com
"comprehensive and compelling. An impressive range of work" —Aesthetica
"a thorough-going exploration of how the body has been represented" —The Independent
"Body of Art positions itself as the most extensive survey of the representation of the body in art ever to be published - a bold claim, but one it deftly pulls off." —Daily Telegraph
"Works are often presented in unlikely but enlightening pairings ...With modest design and concise commentary; this is an intelligent, illuminating survey of a topic that has an enduring appeal." —Daily Telegraph
"Ambitious in scope." —Publishers Weekly
"Body of Art is a fascinating study of the myriad ways in which artists have represented the human body, making often surprising and always illuminating connections between centuries, imaginations and media." —Jennifer Higgie, Writer and co-editor of frieze
"Without reflection, it is difficult to understand the integrity of our corporeality, and the way that our mind is intimately interconnected, body and soul." —Jennifer Blessing, Body of Art
Featured artists include:
Leonardo da Vinci
Peter Paul Rubens
Vincent van Gogh
Contents and sections:
THE CYCLE OF BODILY LIFE By Jennifer Blessing
RELIGION & BELIEF
SEX & GENDER
THE BODY’S LIMITS
BODIES & SPACE
THE ABJECT BODY
THE ABSENT BODY
"Ambitious in scope."
"I don't think about this book as an art book ...it's a book that uses art to talk about what it means to be human."
"Illuminating ...more engaging than a straight history of art."
"Works are often presented in unlikely but enlightening pairings ...With modest design and concise commentary; this is an intelligent, illuminating survey of a topic that has an enduring appeal."
"The book is so well chosen because in art we relate so much to the human body to the point where we talk of a body of art. And so that organic human centred analogy is at the heart of our artistic heritage."
"I love that he takes the most common places and, by bringing bodies into them, you just look at it completely differently. It feels both human and inhuman at the same time. You can't believe humans would lie down like that. Those images catch you and, when you see this, you wonder, How did they do it?"
"The interesting thing about The Blue Nudes, is that Matisse was making them at what was a very physically challenging time for him. so they became, in many ways, the limits he was facing with his own body and they became his strength in tying together all of the things he'd believed in and had done before. It's the kind of 'essential' that you can only reach once you've done everything else."
"There are several artists I admire for their depiction of the body. Modigliani when it comes to depicting the body has the sexiest line and the most elegant forms - I always liked his nudes. He painted them in a way so that on one hand they have this element of abstraction but on the other, they are still extremely sensual."
"It makes me feel dependable to use the body as a medium of art creation. I realized that the body was the most direct way to contact with society as well as a proof of one's personal identity. In this regard, the physical body is the carrier of my inner heart."
"After I got the contacts back I immediately realised why most artists try at some point to work with the nude it's the skin colours!"
"That style of snapshot, (Nan Goldin's Nan One Month After Being Battered - featured in Body of Art) simple, flash-lit photography, was all a big influence on my magazine project - I bought a camera and began shooting."
"I saw how animal-like we really are, how much fur we have on our body, how many freckles we have and how exotic we look - and how vulnerable."
"Body of Art positions itself as the most extensive survey of the representation of the body in art ever to be published - a bold claim, but one it deftly pulls off."
"Comprehensive and compelling. An impressive range of work"
"Body of Art is a fascinating study of the myriad ways in which artists have represented the human body, making often surprising and always illuminating connections between centuries, imaginations and media."
"Who sees the human body correctly: the photographer, the mirror or the painter? And are we to paint what's on the face, what's inside the face or what's behind it?"
"Without reflection, it is difficult to understand the integrity of our corporeality, and the way that our mind is intimately interconnected, body and soul."
"The books on Phaidon's list are as individual and stunning in their production as their content."
The Story of Art
The Art Book: New Edition
The Photography Book
The Art Museum
Art in Time
The 21st-Century Art Book
HOME OF THE VISUAL ARTS
Phaidon is the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print. We work with the world's most influential artists, chefs, writers and thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, and illustrated books for children. Phaidon is headquartered in London and New York City. Read more
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