The Body

The human body comes in all different shapes and sizes, but when we look at bodies through art, how do we perceive them? From portraiture to sculpture, the body has inspired countless artists across all media.

Since the middle of the 20th century, artists and researchers alike have challenged how traditional western art has depicted the female form through the lens of the “male gaze”. At this time, artists also started to address the stereotypes, tropes and the stigma often attached to different figures. 

The body influences contemporary artists today as they continue to explore a complex range of ideas related to human form, looking at all aspects of life from sexuality and gender to ethnicity, physical ability, and aging. 

Discussing and looking at art about the body can be uncomfortable, empowering, revealing and everything in-between, but can it also force us to try and understand ourselves?


© Berni Searle/Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales
BUTLER, Reginald
© Reginald Butler/Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales
© Estate of Keith Vaughan. All Rights Reserved. DACS 2024/Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales
SEPUYA, Paul Mpagi
© Paul (Sepuya) Mpagi/Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales
JAMES, Merlin
© Merlin James/Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales
EVANS, Geraint
© Geraint Evans/Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales
BRETT, Karen
© Karen Brett/Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales
© Chris Steele-Perkins / Magnum Photos / Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales
Britton, Alison
© Alison Britton/Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales
© Gesiye/Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales