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Open Studio Exhibit Focuses on Representations of the Body

By Kathleen Cammarata

A new exhibit of drawings by Kathleen Cammarata explores the many nuances of the body, at times playing with the expectations of the nude figure set up long ago by traditional representational art.

The practice of drawing from a nude model did not develop until the fifteenth century in Renaissance Florence. It coincided with the availability of cheap paper manufactured for the newly invented printing press. This paper allowed artists to make exploratory drawings. The sketchbook was a byproduct of this period.

What ensued was a routine exploitation of the female body as a signifier of erotic desire. In the art form of the European nude, the painters, spectators, and collectors were men. The Venus of Urbino by Titian and Olympia by Manet are two examples of a large number of such works.

In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, artists emerged, many of whom were women, who depicted all aspects of the body. Their drawings and paintings acknowledge the body’s blood, bowels, and genitals. Contemporary works express feelings, pain, and disease. Two known artists in this category are Louise Bourgeois and Marlene Dumas. Another extraordinary example of this genre is Frida Kahlo.

In Cammarata’s drawings, the body reveals interior thoughts and experiences. Figures have an attitude. Hands gesture with feeling. Bodies have markings of memory, words, and poems. Faces are in shadow rather than having a flirtatious look in the eyes or on the lips. The drawings are a testimony to the human condition.

Cammarata has been drawing and painting for 35 years. She taught in two museums and a university. She has won over two dozen awards and grants. Her work is in collections in the United States, Canada, and México.

The exhibit Body Fictions opens at Esperanza Studio on Sunday, December 9, from 2–5pm at Alameda 6 in colonia San Antonio or by appointment by emailing


Open Studio

Body Fictions

Sun, Dec 9, 2–5pm

Alameda 6, col San Antonio

121 3026



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