- Bodies of Work
- East Building, Upper Level
The phrase body of work refers to the production of a single artist, writer, or composer. So does corpus (Latin for body) and oeuvre (French for work). Such terms become literal through the artist’s depiction of the body itself. Made over the past 50 years, the works of art in this installation reimagine the human form as a site of fantasy, fear, and travail. As the critic Britt Julious reminds us, “Art is as much about labor as it is about interpretation.”
A prominent subtheme featured in these works is appropriation. For example, Bob Thompson’s majestic Tree fuses two consecutive plates from Los Caprichos (1797–1799), Goya’s scathing print portfolio, and Robert Colescott’s Auvers-sur-Oise (Crow in the Wheatfield) presents a dark homage to Van Gogh. Taken together, all the works in this installation suggest just how much contemporary artists continue to grapple with the many different ways that the body has figured in the history of art.
Organization: Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington
Passes: Admission is always free and passes are not required