Death of a Reclining Nude by Jay Senetchko
The piece for this exhibition - Death of the Reclining Nude - draws on the tradition of the female nude, and the problematic power imbalance that exists between that figure and male gaze.
This art historical tradition serves as a metaphor for political hegemonic and marginalized power struggles in this painting. The original inspiration for the pose is derived from a woman who was killed in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, and whose final position in life was similar to that of a classic female nude. Depicted in a social realist mode (especially emblematic of Soviet era artwork and its associated oppression), it is a figure placed within a context laden with power and conflict, and representative of the tension nascent in the traditions which they represent.
This figure is clothed, alive, and clad in the national colours of Ukraine, in recognition that traditions and institutions of power are dangerous when followed blindly, and perhaps deserve to die rather than continue their unquestioned hegemony.
Not based on any particular reclining nude, just the genre in general.
Oil on canvas
Size: 54"W x 58"H
Artist: Jay Senetchko