Hylas and the Nymphs removed

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Hylas and the Nymphs removed

Postby Miranda » 03 Feb 2018, 10:43

Manchester Art Gallery has removed a painting of young naked female nymphs tempting a man to his doom to "prompt conversation about how we display and interpret artworks".

Hylas and the Nymphs, painted by John William Waterhouse in 1896 and one of the most recognisable of the pre-Raphaelite paintings, was taken down on Friday, and postcards of the picture will be removed from sale in the shop.

A statement on the gallery's website said it presented, "the female body as either a 'passive decorative form' or a 'femme fatale'. Let's challenge this Victorian fantasy!"

"The gallery exists in a world full of intertwined issues of gender, race, sexuality and class which affect us all. How could artworks speak in more contemporary, relevant ways?" the statement read.

Visitors left post-it notes in the space where the painting hung, with mixed responses to the removal — some called it "politically correct" and claimed censorship.

But the gallery's curator of contemporary art, Clare Gannaway, told The Guardian the aim of the removal was not to censor, but to provoke debate.

"For me personally, there is a sense of embarrassment that we haven't dealt with it sooner. Our attention has been elsewhere … we've collectively forgotten to look at this space and think about it properly.

"We want to do something about it now because we have forgotten about it for so long."

Ms Gannaway said the painting would probably return to the gallery — it previously hung in a room titled In Pursuit of Beauty, containing late 19th century paintings showing the female body — "but hopefully contextualised quite differently".

"It is not just about that one painting, it is the whole context of the gallery," she said.

The gallery said the removal itself was an artistic act and "part of a group gallery takeover" that will feature in a solo exhibition by Sonia Boyce.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-01/g ... ts-culture
(click the link to see the painting)
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Re: Hylas and the Nymphs removed

Postby Lefty » 03 Feb 2018, 10:57

Returned in a completely different context? :huh

Guess I'm not artsy enough to see what the problem was in the first place - art galleries are full of naked bits. Maybe the statue of David will need to have a pair of board shorts put on it.
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Re: Hylas and the Nymphs removed

Postby HBS Guy » 03 Feb 2018, 12:32

Yeah, full of naked puttis and cupids etc as well as nekkid wimmen.

Wonder if it will be put back in another “context.”
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Re: Hylas and the Nymphs removed

Postby Miranda » 03 Feb 2018, 12:53

HBS Guy wrote:Yeah, full of naked puttis and cupids etc as well as nekkid wimmen.

Wonder if it will be put back in another “context.”


From the article...
Ms Gannaway said the painting would probably return to the gallery — it previously hung in a room titled In Pursuit of Beauty, containing late 19th century paintings showing the female body — "but hopefully contextualised quite differently".

What do you think the context should be?
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Re: Hylas and the Nymphs removed

Postby HBS Guy » 03 Feb 2018, 13:23

Art is art. Stuff context.
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Re: Hylas and the Nymphs removed

Postby mothra » 04 Feb 2018, 02:45

Waterhouse is a bit of a fave of mine. My man bought me a beautiful, huge, magnificently framed "Lady Of Shalott' for my 30th. It's a prized possession.

I dig what the gallery is trying to say though. They did something controversial and attention-grabbing to open up a dialogue ... one that does indeed need to be had.

Irrespective of the loud cries of "femonazis" and "political correctness gone mad", we are in an age in which conventional gender roles are emphatically challenged. We are, as a society, some way into questioning and holding to account how, for example, children (in this instance girl children) see themselves represented by popular culture. Through introspection and analysis, we has evolved to the point in which we are normalising voices of dissent that have been pointing out toxic elephants in rooms.

I do think it is a poor choice to make an example of however. Not least because it is so easily defensible.

I suspect this is a bit of an own goal.
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Re: Hylas and the Nymphs removed

Postby pinkeye » 04 Feb 2018, 23:52

mothra wrote:Waterhouse is a bit of a fave of mine. My man bought me a beautiful, huge, magnificently framed "Lady Of Shalott' for my 30th. It's a prized possession.

I dig what the gallery is trying to say though. They did something controversial and attention-grabbing to open up a dialogue ... one that does indeed need to be had.

Irrespective of the loud cries of "femonazis" and "political correctness gone mad", we are in an age in which conventional gender roles are emphatically challenged. We are, as a society, some way into questioning and holding to account how, for example, children (in this instance girl children) see themselves represented by popular culture. Through introspection and analysis, we has evolved to the point in which we are normalising voices of dissent that have been pointing out toxic elephants in rooms.

I do think it is a poor choice to make an example of however. Not least because it is so easily defensible.

I suspect this is a bit of an own goal.



As a statement it has had an impact. We're talking about it.. I can see a re-contextualisation of this work in future . Beauty in the human form is a classic subject . Look at David.. by Michelangelo. The human form does have merit, simply by being US, and ART expresses that.


We are approaching a sort of crux, in social consideration of male/female relationships. The thing is IT HAS to HAPPEN. No viable society can continue without much greater balance. Look to the past. Will we learn.?

The other thing is... I wonder will we achieve anything from this.?

Realistically the more discussion, the more chance of genuine change, but there is such a wide range of behaviour to be considered, in this light.. Our issues range so widely, consolidating a consensus is problematic.

I really hope good comes.... but I think it is going to take another generation or two, before women are not constantly at risk of murder, or assault and harassment from males. If THEN. :sad


I look forward to that day. But THAT DAY is NOT NOW.
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