Sylvia Sleigh gained critical success in the 1960s and '70s as an important instigator of New York's feminist art scene. Known for her explicit male nudes that quote and subvert the art historical tradition of male gaze onto female body, in her portraits feature artists, musicians and writers of both genders, dressed and naked, representing a pantheon of significant cultural figures. Exploring contemporary portraiture as an intimate dialogue between artist and sitter, Sleigh's practice elevated her subjects, aiming to remove objectification from art. In these portraits, she combined bold sensuality with a personal feminism that placed her at the heart of a discourse on power, representation, and gender.
Sylvia Sleigh (1916–2010) was born in Wales. In 1961 she moved to New York, where she spent the rest of her life.
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