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Oct 29

The Body in Art

October 29 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm PDT

Join SFU’s Liberal Arts & 55+ Program for a free lecture exploring the history of the human body as a central subject in Western art.

The human body is a central subject in Western art. Male and female classical, heroic and ideal nudes have shaped the aesthetics of artistic form for centuries. In the 20th century, artists transformed and challenged older norms, exploring new materials—including their own bodies—in order to represent pressing social concerns. While, in recent work, bodies may appear as subjective, pathetic and vulnerable, artists also celebrate diversity and freedom of expression. Modern artists we will discuss include Duane Hanson, Kiki Smith, Ana Mendieta, Cindy Sherman, Jenny Saville, Mark Quinn, Lucian Freud, Ron Mueck, Antony Gormley, Zhang Huan, Janine Antoni, Spencer Tunick and others.

This lecture is presented by the SFU Liberal Arts & 55+ Program.


Efrat El-Hanany is a faculty member in the Art History and Women and Gender Studies departments at Capilano University. An art historian, she specializes in the visual culture of the Italian Renaissance with additional interests in traditions of Jewish art, contemporary art, and the art of China.

She graduated from Hebrew University in Jerusalem with a BA in the history of art and East Asian studies and a BA in education. After several years’ experience teaching and developing educational programs at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, she went on to earn an MA and a PhD from Indiana University. Her PhD dissertation, Beating the Devil: Images of the Madonna del Soccorso in Italian Renaissance Art (2006), focuses on issues of iconography, gender, and social and religious history.

She has published on diverse topics, presented at numerous academic conferences, and taught for many years at various cultural institutions around Vancouver and beyond.

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