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Female Gaze Friday: Nancy Grossman’s “Male Figure”

Representations of the male figure in art are far less common than works depicting women. A long history of straight men dominating the art world has led to many images of winsome women, but fewer of beautiful men (I’ve written on this subject before; if you’d like to read more about the lack of male figures in art check it out here).

Every Female Gaze Friday I will post a woman-created work of art depicting a man—one small act to reverse the male gaze! Not all images will be provocative, many will be nonsexual or even disturbing. Hopefully this will be a way of learning more about women artists (as well as looking at dudes)!

This week’s image is Male Figure by Nancy Grossman:

Nancy Grossman, Male Figure, 1971, wood, leather, and metal, 68 inches high, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, gift of Joseph H. Hazen, New York, to the American Friends of the Israel Museum

Nancy Grossman, Male Figure, 1971, wood, leather, and metal, 68 inches high, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, gift of Joseph H. Hazen, New York, to the American Friends of the Israel Museum

Grossman is well-known for her 1960s sculptures of heads covered with bondage gear. Although her figures present as male, at times she refers to them as self portraits which lends an interesting twist to the gendering of her work. You can learn more about Grossman and see more of her art here.

Check back on Fridays for more images of men by women. And feel free to suggest works of art or artists in the comments!

Check out our previous Female Gaze Friday: Isabel Rocamora

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