Running through art

In the winter of last year, Anklebiter #1 and I went to have brunch with some friends at the Modern Museum in Stockholm.

After a lovely time catching up, we all decided to visit the latest exhibition of Lee Lozano’s Notebooks.

Little did we realize that these angry sketches of the private parts of the body – both male and female – would have our American friend running through the gallery as she tried to avoid seeing them.

There was a sense of violence and rage against the female body – and lots of nudity – that even my daughter and I avoided most of the art and just looked at the abstract pieces.

I was sure that the artist was a man – and was surprised to learn later on that she was a woman.

Back outside the museum, we enjoyed the more sedate pleasures of these abstract sculptures.

Just then – we rounded the corner to be greeted by playful forms of women’s bodies.

This caused by daughter (then eight) to burst out: “Why is so much art about women and their bodies?”

I still haven’t managed to find a good answer to that question.

For more artful posts, please visit: My World.

I’m still away in England — so please excuse my absence. Hope this finds you all well and full of the joys of life!

51 responses

  1. We have a large modern art museum in my city. I have visited it a few times and on some occasions I was too slightly appalled with what I saw. I am an artist at heart, yet what gets to be called art these days is sometime beyond good taste, I feel. But then again, I guess that is the allure – and the burden – of art.;)
    Love the images and I love your daughters inquiring mind.;) I guess my answer would be “as it is so beautiful and full of mystery and a source of life itself”.


    May 30, 2011 at 16:57

  2. I can’t answer your daughter’s question, either, I’m afraid – not for current artists. For artists of centuries ago, painting landscapes wasn’t really interesting, and most painters had a wife or mistress they persuaded to model for them.


    May 30, 2011 at 17:01

  3. I don’t really enjoy that sort of modern art either, I’d probably have behaved much the same way 😉 But the artistic interest in the human body goes back a long way doesn’t it – even to very primitive art. Fertility symbols and whatnot. Passion. A way of trying to control that which is difficult to control, perhaps? Interesting post. Hope you’re having a good time.


    May 30, 2011 at 17:32

  4. well it is hard to ignore the most naturally beautiful thing we have stumbled upon…you know…smiles.


    May 30, 2011 at 17:54

  5. Neat post.
    Hope you are enjoying your stay in the UK.


    May 30, 2011 at 18:56

  6. To each his own, I suppose, but I don’t enjoy seeing art like that and can’t answer her question either!


    May 30, 2011 at 19:05

  7. the answer to your daughter’s question would be–because a woman’s body is beautiful…whatever shape and size, it inspires.:p

    colorful post.


    May 30, 2011 at 21:57

  8. When she is older, she will figure out the answer to that question…. unfortunately! 🙂


    May 30, 2011 at 22:03

  9. Guess for whatever reason — and your readers have given the best ones — women and their bodies have and are an inspiration in one way or another. Some you can feel the love and the appreciation just as in others you can feel the anger and rejection. Marvelous post as always!



    May 30, 2011 at 22:03

  10. Riet

    I think I had to think deeply febore being able to answer this. LOL


    May 30, 2011 at 22:11

  11. Some of the art that I see now is in my mind in such poor taste!
    I’m sure I would not have liked those sketches as you described them….violence and rage, no!
    But I loved all the beautiful pictures you shared here!
    Thank you and hope you are having a wonderful trip!
    Enjoy every minute!

    Margie 🙂


    May 30, 2011 at 22:50

  12. Probably most people find womens bodies more beautiful than mens 😉
    Maybe your daughter will accept that answer 😉 Or maybe she herself has the best answer – ask her and let me know because I love how clever kids are to find answeers 🙂
    Love the entry!


    May 30, 2011 at 22:54

  13. Great tour!! To answer your question I really don’t know I’m still fumbling around with wild life. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.


    May 30, 2011 at 23:06

  14. A very good question indeed!!


    May 30, 2011 at 23:38

  15. ds

    I wouldn’t know how to answer that question, either. Hope you are having a fabulous trip–and thank you again for visiting my blog the other day & leaving a bit of yourself there.


    May 30, 2011 at 23:38

  16. Intressant! Där har jag faktiskt aldrig varit…men det finns ju så många museer i Stockholm så vi hinner aldrig med när vi åker ner 🙂 Ha det bra!


    May 30, 2011 at 23:53

  17. ~Because women’s bodies are beautiful…and so are your posts, Lady Fi. xx


    May 31, 2011 at 00:24

  18. Your daughter asked a very good question. There is also a lot of art depicting naked men, although I don’t know how much of it is violent and angry.
    Yes, a very good question indeed. I suspect the female artist was reacting to the very real violence that has been perpetrated against females throughout the ages, but how do you explain that to an eight-year-old?
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel


    May 31, 2011 at 01:12

  19. Your daughter asked a very good question.


    May 31, 2011 at 02:43

  20. That was a good question your daughter asked. Even in Indian art, the woman’s body is often depicted.


    May 31, 2011 at 03:06

  21. Enjoy your tour! 🙂
    I too don’t have a good answer to your daughter’s question, fumbling for the right words.


    May 31, 2011 at 03:35

  22. Wonderful shots. It is difficult to answer the kids.


    May 31, 2011 at 04:03

  23. Sounds like an X rated exhibit! You wonder what goes on in children’s minds – and what she took away from the experience. The outside sculptures are so colorful against the white of the snow. Hope your vacation is going well.


    May 31, 2011 at 04:34

  24. I hope the museums you visit in the UK are more ‘sedate’ than this museum was. The outside sculptures you showed were very colorful. I wish I had a good answer for your daughter.


    May 31, 2011 at 04:55

  25. Your daughter brings up an excellent question.


    May 31, 2011 at 06:16

  26. Those kids and their zinger questions. I have few answers for most of them asked to me.

    I hope you enjoy your time away.


    May 31, 2011 at 06:40

  27. the sculptures are colourful and lively. hope you’ve a wonderful vacation.


    May 31, 2011 at 07:32

  28. Art (and other things) may be in the eye of the beholder, but I really do wonder about some peoples eyes!

    Cheers – Stewart M – Australia


    May 31, 2011 at 07:56

  29. insightful..!!

    have fun in england!!


    May 31, 2011 at 09:21

  30. I understand how you felt. I’m not confortable at that kind of modern art, either. You seem to have enjoyed taking pictures instead of unwanted exhibited arts, if we could call them arts. That was good for you. Enjoy your stay in UK.


    May 31, 2011 at 13:04

  31. What a great question!


    May 31, 2011 at 14:30

  32. Your daughter asked a very good question! I’m not surprised you didn’t have a ready answer.


    May 31, 2011 at 15:53

  33. I know what you mean about certain art being difficult to look at. I personally prefer more pretty art, although I respect other artists’ decisions.

    Great post!
    Hope you’re enjoying England.


    May 31, 2011 at 17:16

  34. Fantasctic Lady Fi!



    May 31, 2011 at 17:34

  35. At first I thought you were in the snow…I was like, snow in June? GAH!


    May 31, 2011 at 17:52

  36. I won’t enjoy such a type of art. There is a subtle line between art and not called art.
    The answer is, women are the source of life I think. In Japan, the supreme deity is the goddess of the sun. I love all of your photos.
    Have a great week!


    May 31, 2011 at 18:15

  37. This was a great and artistic world. Like your shots, but I`m glad we do not have snow now..
    Happy week to you:-)


    May 31, 2011 at 21:33

  38. What a lark! Obviously the artist was angry at her own sexual orientation. Sometimes an exhibition can be quite embarrassing when the artist inadvertently bares his/her soul.
    I walked out of one that had a phallus fetish.

    Great photos, it is so nice for me to see snow although we are in winter now, unfortunately not a white one.


    June 1, 2011 at 09:40

  39. Beautiful and wonderful images. I like these abstract sculptures in the snow. I know the work of Lee Lozano. I believe that art is less about the woman’s body by the ideal of beauty, to the Greek ideal of beauty was more in the man body. Greetings.


    June 1, 2011 at 11:25

  40. we are in connection….hahahahahahha
    I shown photos of a dancer of Stockholm…He wanted some photos for pesterior remembrances,….I didn´t find any different way than to show his body…
    Welcome home!!!

    great shots as always


    June 1, 2011 at 15:46

  41. that´s some big pieces of art. 🙂


    June 1, 2011 at 23:57

  42. Art is such a subjective state of mind; and some are seen ‘extreme’, perhaps they are more expressive by most (like me) who are more ‘sedate’ 🙂


    June 2, 2011 at 03:26

  43. · Here again. I came back from my Camino (Saint Jacques Way). I enjoy your last pictures.

    · regards

    CR & LMA


    June 2, 2011 at 09:25

  44. “Beauty” seems to be the answer to your daughter’s question, and I’d agree with that. Some artists respond to beauty with appreciation, others with hatred and a desire to destroy. I far prefer the first approach.


    June 2, 2011 at 13:07

  45. beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and what is offensive to one person is not offensive to another. Upstairs in the Historical Museum is an Art Museum..I hear that Junes exhibit contains full frontal male nudity..not nearly as acceptable in this scandinavian area as female nudity. I guess I will have to see for myself:)


    June 2, 2011 at 16:21

  46. You gotta love modern artists…sometime their work is very strange! It’s always good to see something a little out of our comfort zone, isn’t it! Thanks for sharing this moment!


    June 2, 2011 at 18:07

  47. JM

    I find all these sculptures very cool and they really do pop up in the snow. Enjoy your time in England (if you’re still there now).


    June 2, 2011 at 22:53

  48. I hope those female sculptures were not shown in an unpleasant way. I see no wrong in innocently displaying the human body, woman or man, so long as it is done respectfully – Dave


    June 5, 2011 at 10:15

  49. That is some interesting pieces of art, thanks for sharing them.


    June 6, 2011 at 19:20

  50. i don’t mind viewing those body parts at all….but will you ever see mine sketched and being viewed….not on your life 🙂


    June 7, 2011 at 01:32

  51. Living in America, but being from Spain where people are more open about everything, especially nudity, I had to laugh at the mention of your friend running to get out of the museum… I am wondering if she is from the south- Bible belt perhaps? I had never seen anything like it until I moved to Georgia. People here tend to be scandalous about anything that has to do with nudity or sex….
    I love your daughter’s curiosity- Mystery fascinates artists… and women are just that. As far as the angry sketches, I am assuming the woman has some big issues with her sexuality- or she might have been abused or raped. Who can really understand modern art… interpret at free will.


    June 9, 2011 at 15:22

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