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Art Academy of Cincinnati: Convergys Gallery

September 2018

Whitney Hubbs: Body Doubles

September 28, 2018November 2, 2018

Whitney Hubbs uses non-traditional portraiture to address representation of the female body. She photographs other women, as stand-ins for herself, in awkward and physically uncomfortable positions—domestic figures with textiles or green cleaning gloves combined with poses of the objectified female body from both art history and popular culture. Hubbs references headless busts from global antiquity and mannequins from department stores while asserting control over how a woman’s body is seen.

Within the archive of female bodies throughout art history, men have been the dictators. A scolding of modern photography’s use of objectified women was the inspiration for Body Doubles. Hubbs directly responds to Edward Weston’s nude images of his wife, with the word “woman” and a number, referencing Willem de Kooning’s “Woman I” and “Woman II,” which notoriously render a woman’s single breast larger than her head. Carol Duncan’s 1989 article “MOMA’s Hot Mommas” from Art Journal, says of “Woman I:” “de Kooning knowingly and assertively exercises his patriarchal privilege of objectifying male sexual fantasy as high culture.” Hubbs reclaims ownership of the female figure. She challenges the male gaze and subverts tradition by directing the viewer to a woman’s response to art historical poses and representations of the body.

  • Whitney Hubbs, Woman no. 3, 2016. archival pigment print, 32 x 40 inches. Courtesy of M+B Gallery and the artist

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