Martin Hammer's ground-breaking art book studying the 'Naked portraiture' compares work by painters such as Egon Schiele, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Pierre Bonnard, Stanley Spencer, Lucian Freud, Tracey Emin and Jenny Saville.The analysis encompasses a rich tradition of naked portraiture using photographic media, produced by figures such as Alfred Stieglitz, Richard Avedon, Diane Arbus, Boris Mikhailov, Nan Goldin, Gary Schneider and Melanie Manchot.
Published to accompany the exhbition The Naked Portrait: 1900 - 2007 shown in 2007 at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
This is the first study of a fascinating, international phenomenon in the art of the past century. 'Naked portraiture' is an original hybrid of the traditional genres of the nude and portrait, and has been created by an astonishing range of major artists, in many different media and in a variety of major artistic centres.
The subjects are men and woman, old and young, black and white, healthy and disabled. They might be lovers, close relatives or friends, with their nakedness suggesting the intimacy and tenderness existing between artist and subject. Conversely, the artist might not know them beyond the circumstance of making the pictures.
Many of the images represent the artists themselves, with nudity carrying connotations of self-exploration, vulnerability, playfulness or fantasy.Martin Hammer's innovative study seeks to explain naked portraiture as a symptom of wider currents in modern culture, a visual parallel to various other manifestations of an impulse to reveal what is hidden, profound, or authentic, beneath the surface facade.
The book also opens up for consideration the wider issue of how and why the genre of portraiture has been radically extended and reinvented, in so many different ways, within the art of the last hundred years.