Undressed: An exhibition of drawing and photography at the Structure
with Alma Tischlerwood, Delva Simunovic and Jillian Lochner.
The exhibition takes influence from the two Mayas, by Francisco
Goya. The two Mayas carry an infamous legacy, one which saw
Old Master stripped of his Royal title as Spanish Court Painter.
In 1800 Goya finished painting ‘La Maya Desnuda’. It is still
speculated retrospectively that Desnuda is the first obvious
depiction of female pubic hair in a large western painting.
The outrage within the society brought the attention of the
Spanish Inquisition, deeming the painting as ‘obscene’. Goya
was summoned to dress his nude, to cover her flesh and its obscenity.
The master painter refused to cover her delicately painted exposition,
and instead produced a second work, choosing to dress Maya on
new canvas instead.
In 1803 the completed work ‘La Maya Vestida’ was hung on top
of Desnuda, taking its place in Minister de Godoy’s collection.
This allowed Godoy to reveal Maya’s painterly skin when it suited
him, lifting Vestida to uncover Desnuda.
There can be many ways of framing the image of Maya in society
today. Against the backdrop of commercial image making and advertising,
we can find a sensibility of delicate beauty in the crafted
representation of Maya’s form. The painting appears subtle,
or even romantic, in relation to the cacophony of nudity, fantasy,
idealism and social distortion apparent in provocative television
adverts and mainstream pornography. We are left by viewing Maya
in her innocence and naivety, and become detached from the ability
to empathise with the outrage, obscenity and shock which she
faced within 18th Century Spanish society. We observe her depiction,
uncovered skin and pubic hair, bringing our own connotations
and subversins. We do not see her skin exposed, rather we see
her form dressed up in a jaded idealism. Desnuda becomes Vestida
This exhibition seeks to undress Maya once more. An investigation
mediums of photography and drawing, Tischlerwood, Simunovic
and Lochner attempt to
undress our relationships with image and the exposed human form
in contemporary society.
Maya Undressed takes place from 13th February to 13th March
at The Structure Gallery
Hours: Thurs. to Sat. 13.00 > 18.00
or by Appointment.
How To find us
The Gallery is located at 14, Ingestre
Place, W1F 0JQ in Soho near Carnaby Street.
14, Ingestre Place
London W1F 0JQ