Review: 'Unclothed: Exposing the Art Nude' 

****
"Blue Stephanie" by Sylvia Gray
  • "Blue Stephanie" by Sylvia Gray

STUTZARTSPACE; through Nov. 23.

One photograph here will soon have everybody talking -- so why not begin with that? Gary Mitchell's "Symmetry" is a black and white exposure that captures a twenty-something women with her thighs spread wide to the camera. Her blasé facial expression, signaling a lack of embarrassment (unlike the demure Eve, after the Fall), might be the most outrageous thing about this photo to some.

The other 32 pieces (by 28 artists) include numerous paintings, as well as Matthew Davey's brilliantly realized bronze sculpture "The Petition," in which you see a man on his knees, naked before you -- and God. Not everything in this show is so anatomically explicit, however. In Sylvia Gray's dye-on-silk "Blue Stephanie," you see a balance of bold color and slightly-abstracted form. The eroticism here doesn't depend on an explicit reveal. Plenty more is revealed in this show, nevertheless; Mike Arledge Jr.'s photo "The Innocent and the Beautiful have no Enemy but Time" pictures a young woman in a full frontal, sans pubic hair. And then there's Jim Cantrell's oil painting "Time Goes By" where you see two women in their late middle ages -- one looking particularly sullen-- posing nude before Father Time in the guise of a grandfather clock. Cantrell's and Arledge's works seem to share a certain reductionism. But, you may ask, are the young always innocent? And are the old necessarily sad?

Don't miss the panel discussion and reception on Friday.

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