Title

Gazing at the Gazer: An Analysis of the Turkish Bath (1973) by Sylvia Sleigh

Lead Author Major

Pre-Pharmacy

Format

Oral Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Merrill Schleier

Faculty Mentor Department

Visual Arts

Abstract/Artist Statement

In her painting the Turkish Bath (1973) Sylvia Sleigh probes the female gaze by reimagining originally erotic subject matter from Ingres's painting of the same name (1862) and Titian's Venus and the Lute Player (1565) into an individualistic and more "realistic" one. Sleigh replaces the idealized and eroticized "fantasy" female nudes from these traditional paintings, distorted by Ingres's and Titian's fetishistic gaze, with identifiable male characters . In contrast to the ambitions of these male artists, Sleigh imbues her men with individuality and control over their own sexuality. Thus, Sylvia Sleigh mocks Orientalism, reinterprets beauty, and offers a powerful version of the female gaze. The methodologies that will be used to explain Sleigh's intentions in the Turkish Bath are formal analysis, psychoanalysis, gender theory, and postcolonial theory. The elements of formal analysis-- composition, color, lines, brushwork, and space-- will be discussed to explain the varying types of femininity and masculinity articulated through each male figure. Other methodologies discussed will be gender theory and psychoanalysis, as both go hand in hand when the female and male gazes are analyzed in both Sleigh's painting and those of her artistic antecedents. I will refer to the theories of Mary Ann Doane and Laura Mulvey to explore Sleigh's version of the female gaze. Finally, I plan to employ postcolonial theory, predominantly the works of Edward Said and Linda Nochlin to demonstrate how Sylvia Sleigh reverses previous associations with Orientalism. In doing so, I will analyze the poses and decor of the room in the painting to show how Sleigh satirizes Orientalism and questions hegemonic notions of gender by switching expected roles. Ultimately, in association with these methodologies, I will elucidate Sleigh's ingeniously devised interlocking and varied masculinities. For example, the key to understanding the presence of body hair and lack thereof, head hair, skin tone, and sitting style-- particularly the seiza and agura-- of each individual in the painting will be interpreted for their relevance to Sleigh's construction of the masculinity and femininity of her male protagonists.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Room 211

Start Date

26-4-2014 9:00 AM

End Date

26-4-2014 12:00 PM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 26th, 9:00 AM Apr 26th, 12:00 PM

Gazing at the Gazer: An Analysis of the Turkish Bath (1973) by Sylvia Sleigh

DeRosa University Center, Room 211

In her painting the Turkish Bath (1973) Sylvia Sleigh probes the female gaze by reimagining originally erotic subject matter from Ingres's painting of the same name (1862) and Titian's Venus and the Lute Player (1565) into an individualistic and more "realistic" one. Sleigh replaces the idealized and eroticized "fantasy" female nudes from these traditional paintings, distorted by Ingres's and Titian's fetishistic gaze, with identifiable male characters . In contrast to the ambitions of these male artists, Sleigh imbues her men with individuality and control over their own sexuality. Thus, Sylvia Sleigh mocks Orientalism, reinterprets beauty, and offers a powerful version of the female gaze. The methodologies that will be used to explain Sleigh's intentions in the Turkish Bath are formal analysis, psychoanalysis, gender theory, and postcolonial theory. The elements of formal analysis-- composition, color, lines, brushwork, and space-- will be discussed to explain the varying types of femininity and masculinity articulated through each male figure. Other methodologies discussed will be gender theory and psychoanalysis, as both go hand in hand when the female and male gazes are analyzed in both Sleigh's painting and those of her artistic antecedents. I will refer to the theories of Mary Ann Doane and Laura Mulvey to explore Sleigh's version of the female gaze. Finally, I plan to employ postcolonial theory, predominantly the works of Edward Said and Linda Nochlin to demonstrate how Sylvia Sleigh reverses previous associations with Orientalism. In doing so, I will analyze the poses and decor of the room in the painting to show how Sleigh satirizes Orientalism and questions hegemonic notions of gender by switching expected roles. Ultimately, in association with these methodologies, I will elucidate Sleigh's ingeniously devised interlocking and varied masculinities. For example, the key to understanding the presence of body hair and lack thereof, head hair, skin tone, and sitting style-- particularly the seiza and agura-- of each individual in the painting will be interpreted for their relevance to Sleigh's construction of the masculinity and femininity of her male protagonists.