Joan Semmel Night Light 1978

  • Not on view

This work derives from Semmel’s experience of looking through a camera lens at her own dramatically cropped and foreshortened figure. “When you look at yourself, you’re not looking at the whole body, you see it in fragments,” she explained. “I was interested in how you experience the body rather than an image of an ideal.” The work challenges the tradition of the female nude by capturing the gaze of a female maker.

Gallery label from 2019
Oil on canvas
50 × 98" (127 × 248.9 cm)
Gift of Jeffrey M. Resnick in honor of Zina W. Davis
Object number
© Joan Semmel. Used by permission.
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

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