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dc.contributor.advisorCateforis, David
dc.contributor.authorLockard, Brittany
dc.date.accessioned2012-11-26T22:31:39Z
dc.date.available2012-11-26T22:31:39Z
dc.date.issued2012-05-31
dc.date.submitted2012
dc.identifier.otherhttp://dissertations.umi.com/ku:12053
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1808/10463
dc.description.abstractSince the early 1990s, a number of prominent artists have begun to produce images of the nude fat body. This dissertation looks at the works of several of those artists--Lucian Freud, Jenny Saville, Joel-Peter Witkin, Laurie Toby Edison, Leonard Nimoy, and Laura Aguilar--seeking to discover what meanings each individual artist layers onto the fat body. Asking why these artists might be interested in the fat body may seem an unnecessary question, as anxiety about fatness pervades Western culture. It is impossible to watch television, listen to the radio, or even read a magazine without being inundated by this unease; whether in the form of advertisements for various weight-loss programs and products, stories about the "obesity epidemic" facing the West, or human interest stories about life as an obese American. Therefore, this dissertation situates artistic images within a larger cultural context. In attempting to understand the meanings layered onto the body in the works of Freud, Saville, Witkin, Edison, Nimoy, and Aguilar, the dissertation draws heavily from the newly developing discipline of fat studies. Authors in this field are challenging the unexposed assumptions that underlie contemporary anxieties about the fat body--that the human body is natural, and that thinness is its natural state--on a number of grounds. Although there is no one unified fat theory, just as there is no one unified feminism, those working in the field share an understanding of the human body as socially constructed, and an understanding of the fat body as the site of many converging discourses; the discourse of science and medicine, of religion and morality, and of gender, racial and class difference. Using this understanding of fatness to read images, the dissertation approaches artistic representations of the body from a new perspective. High art traditionally depicts images of the ideal body (there are, of course, exceptions, such as Velazquez's paintings of court dwarfs) and there exist many art historical readings of this body. Contemporary art, however, has moved away from the idealized body to images of the grotesque: for example, Kiki Smith's images of flayed or dismembered bodies. This dissertation treats the fat body, not as an example of the abnormal or grotesque, but as a marginalized body, and attempts to address the reasons for its growing prevalence in contemporary art as well as locate representations of fatness within contemporary discourse about the body. As such, readings of contemporary artists are supplemented with cultural readings of popular media.
dc.format.extent242 pages
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Kansas
dc.rightsThis item is protected by copyright and unless otherwise specified the copyright of this thesis/dissertation is held by the author.
dc.subjectArt history
dc.subjectSaville, Jenny
dc.subjectWitkin, Joel-Peter
dc.subjectAguilar, Laura
dc.subjectEdison, Laurie Toby
dc.subjectNimoy, Leonard
dc.subjectFreud, Lucian
dc.titleSize Matters: Imagery of the Fat Female Body in the Art of Lucian Freud, Jenny Saville, Joel-Peter Witkin, Laurie Toby Edison, Leonard Nimoy, and Laura Aguilar
dc.typeDissertation
dc.contributor.cmtememberKessler, Marni
dc.contributor.cmtememberEldredge, Charles
dc.contributor.cmtememberVicente, Marta
dc.contributor.cmtememberMcCrea, Judith
dc.thesis.degreeDisciplineHistory of Art
dc.thesis.degreeLevelPh.D.
kusw.embargo.terms
kusw.oapolicyThis item does not meet KU Open Access policy criteria.
dc.rights.accessrightsopenAccess


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