Join Associate Professor Linda Tyler and Milica Madanović as each week they explore the works in Auckland Art Gallery’s exhibition The Body Laid Bare: Masterpieces from Tate.

The University of Auckland Continuing Education has partnered with Auckland Art Gallery to provide a unique perspective on the upcoming exhibition The Body Laid Bare: Masterpieces from Tate.

What is a nude? How is it different from being naked? Concepts such as “body”, “masculinity”, “femininity” and “nudity” could previously claim consensus. Over recent decades, however, these terms have come to be contested.

This course will take participants on an expedition into art history, tracing representations of the body from the nineteenth century to the present day. Each week key concepts will be explored in relation to the works in the The Body Laid Bare, and the course will culminate with a guided visit to the exhibition.

Course outline

Session 1: Nineteenth Century art and the academic nude

Exploring the academic concept of nude as part of the high art tradition, Milica will focus on 19th-century British practices. How has the naked body been depicted in 19th-century British art? How was it accepted within Victorian society? Master pieces shown in The Body Laid Bare will introduce the idealised world of British Neoclassical art and the academic concept of exalted nude. Reflecting Victorian conservative values and strict morality, works by William Etty, Sir John Everett Millais, Joseph Mallord William Turner, Frederic, Lord Leighton, etc., convey the dominant socio-political traits of the period. Discussion of exhibited works will reveal dual implications of the nude in the context of British Neoclassicism – idealized Classical tradition on one side and contemporary public concerns about modesty, decency, and prostitution, on the other.

Session 2: The Naked Truth

Is there, and – if so – what is the difference between terms ‘nude’ and ‘naked’? The 20th-century ‘undressing’ of the nude will be explored during the second session. Discussing the Modernist art pieces from The Body Laid Bare, Milica will examine the transformation of idealized academic nude into ‘authentic’ naked portrait. Among others, inciting works by Pierre Bonnard, Henri Matisse and Stanley Spencer will serve as a tool for examining how did nakedness transcend the nude, becoming part of a value system signifying modernity, related to everyday life. Stripping away the posed and the social, in order to unmask the intimate domain of inner self, the wide implications of nakedness will be considered in relation to moral and sexual liberation of modern times

Session 3: Eroticism in art

Developing the topic opened during the second session, Milica will continue to explore the nude in relation to the trajectory of the 20th-century sexual revolution. Rodin’s The Kiss (1901-1904), one of the most famous artistic representations of human sexual love intended for public exhibition, will serve as a starting point for consideration of the erotic dimension of the nude. Discussed in the context of spectatorship within model-artist-consumer triad, pieces from The Body Laid Bare will reveal the mechanisms of voyeurism, eroticism and intimacy intertwined with the representation of naked human body. Surveying artistic transformation from The Kiss to David Hockney’s illustrations of homosexual love, exhibited nudes will be discussed in relation to broader socio-political context of gender equality, moral and sexual liberation.

Session 4: Visit to the exhibition

In this session participants will visit the exhibition at Auckland Art Gallery and tour the works previously discussed in the course – Tour lead by Linda Tyler and Milica Madanovic.

About the presenters

linda-tyler-150x150 Associate Professor Linda Tyler, MA

Linda has been Director of the Centre for Art Studies at the University of Auckland since 2006. As part of Hamilton’s Mesh curatorial panel, she commissioned Lonnie Hutchinson to create the public sculpture Te Wahoroa ki te Ao Maarama – The Entrance way to the World of Enlightenment for Lake Victoria in 2013, and curated the nationally touring exhibition of the artist’s work, Black Bird in 2014. Most recently, she has curated an exhibition on the work of Anne McCahon at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Art Gallery, and is working on a Philip Clairmont exhibition for the Gus Fisher Gallery in 2017.

Milica Madanovic BA, MA

Milica Madanovic, the recipient of the Murray Wren Doctoral Scholarship in Architecture, is a PhD candidate at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning, the University of Auckland. Prior to enrolling in PhD studies, she has finished B.A. and M.A. studies at the Department of Art History, the University of Belgrade.

Interested in preservation and interpretation of cultural heritage, Milica has been employed as Artistic Director’s Assistant at the Cultural Centre House of King Peter in Belgrade, participated in several exhibitions organized by National Museum of Serbia and Belgrade City Museum, and co-authored an awarded project dedicated to promotion of local cultural heritage.

M.A. studies at the Seminar for History of Architecture in Belgrade marked a professional turning point, directing her to an academic career path. Since then, she has been employed as an Associate at the Department of Art History in Belgrade, worked on several papers published in peer-reviewed journals, and presented her research at a number of conferences.

More information…

Your $190.00 registration to this course includes a one year membership at Auckland Art Gallery.

Membership benefits include:

  • FREE unlimited entry to paid exhibitions
  • Exclusive exhibition previews
  • Members Lounge access
  • Invitations to regular talks or behind-the-scenes tours
  • Regular enewsletters
  • $12.50 movie and $15.50 3D tickets1 at Rialto Cinemas Newmarket including Friday and Saturday nights
  • 50% discount off Reading Room: A Journal of Art and Culture
  • 10% discount off food and beverage at our Mojo café 
  • 10% discount at our shop 2
  • 10% discount off venue hire at the Gallery
  • Enjoy complimentary access to the Australian National Maritime Museum and a 10% discount in their gift shop upon presentation of your valid membership card and a form of ID (drivers licence, passport, credit card etc.)
  1. Excludes Beyond Film, alternate content, film festivals, special events and screenings
  2. Excludes sales and promotions. Discount not currently available online