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It was an eerie coincidence, but when I got the call to curate this show, I was researching a phenomenon in 17th-century Spain called the sala reservada, referring to secretive rooms reserved in royal palaces and grand houses where nude works could be seen in private. A show at the Clark Art Institute of nudes from the Prado elicited this interest in finding out more about such places. I chose images here that were unabashedly erotic, but also ones that are more suggestive than overt.
I always feel that with nudes, suggestion can be far more powerful than something more overt.... I also liked that many of the works show couples (straight and gay) and that other works require a longer viewing before deciding what is really being shown (eg. the work showing hands and feet together). Also, many of the chosen works hint at a narrative quality, which automatically animates any canvas. And I like, too, that some of the nudes are accidental, in that a body is shown retrieving a fallen item or a mother is holding her naked baby. Being nude, obviously, is not always an intentional or erotic or sexual state.
Mr. Masello selected 3 Curators' Choice nominees for November, (starred dates in the list): 1* Sleeping (oil) by Tracey Padron of ELGIN, IL; 8* The Two (oil) by Jean Marcellino of New York, NY; 13* The Daydreamer (oil) by Peggy Dean of Croton-on-Hudson, NY.
The 30 artists represented in November, 2016, in day order are:
1* Tracey Padron, 2 Darlene Kuhne, 3 Donald Kolberg, 4 Richard White, 5 Robert Copelan, 6 Dan Simoneau, ISAP, 7 Seonyoung Kim, 8* Jean Marcellino, 9 Mateus Costa, 10 Elizabeth Sowell-Zak, 11 Tony Lee, 12 Donelli J. DiMaria, 13* Peggy Dean, 14 Jean Marcellino, 15 Richard Bulman, 16 Neal Smithwillow, 17 Pacifico Palumbo, 18 Dennis Young, 19 William Thierfelder, 20 Dan Simoneau, ISAP, 21 Jon Rettich, 22 Jacqui Morgan, 23 Peter Wong King, 24 Taehyub Lee, 25 William Thierfelder, 26 Chuck Miller, 27 Chanit Roston, 28 Seonyoung Kim, 29 A. Galban, 30 Tony Lee.