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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 5 Curators' Choice nominees for November, (starred dates in the list): 1* You Want Me (oil) by Tracey Padron of ELGIN, IL; 12* It's Here Somewhere.... (charcoal/carbon) by Ilene Skeen of New York, NY; 16* She is the Music (pastel) by Penelope Przekop of Philadelphia, PA; 20* In the grass (watercolor) by Chanit Roston of , NY; 28* Costa Rica Afternoon (watercolor) by Emily Stedman of New York, NY.
The 30 artists represented in November, 2016, in day order are:
1* Tracey Padron, 2 Richard Bulman, 3 Richard White, 4 Patricia McDermond, 5 Linda Streicher, 6 William Thierfelder, 7 Jean Marcellino, 8 Seonyoung Kim, 9 Sandy Ryan, 10 Robert Markey, 11 Tom Morgan, 12* Ilene Skeen, 13 Darlene Kuhne, 14 Pacifico Palumbo, 15 Lynne Levin, 16* Penelope Przekop, 17 Guadalupe Herrera, 18 Peggy Dean, 19 Dennis Young, 20* Chanit Roston, 21 Peter Millward, 22 Jeanne Sisson, 23 Elizabeth Sowell-Zak, 24 Damir May, 25 Marie-Paule Martin, 26 Chuck Miller, 27 Dan Simoneau, ISAP, 28* Emily Stedman, 29 Gary Paul Stutler, 30 Michael Hennessy.