The Femminine Nude According to Lisa Brice at the Tate
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Nude or dressed, intent on sipping a beer in the sun or engaged in daily rituals, the women of Lisa Brice capture the observer with their powerful charge of introspection. In mirrors or at windows, the immortalised heroins of the South African artist in all their subtle shades evoke the muses of Degas, Picasso, Manet. Some works even give a nod to the Tate Collection itself, such as the piece that is reminiscent of Ophelia by John Everett Millais, but in the “resurrected” version. In this way, Brice overturns the traditional passive depictions of women, as they were conceived and portrayed by artists and spectators for centuries, returning dignity and vigour to these subjects which, in turn, force the spectator to reflect on their status as intruder, rather than as benign, unwitting voyeur. Underlining the distance from intimacy of these scenes, a shade of blue which undermines any attempt of casting a dismissive ethnocentric judgement on the subject as well. With their identity masked by cobalt blue, like the imaginary superhero Blue Devil, the women of Lisa Brice, born in 1968, are part of the program Art Now, the series of free exhibitions that the Tate Britain has dedicated to emerging talent.