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Inga Khanarina

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Inga Khanarina "Untitled", original oil on paper
Located in Glenview, IL
"Untitled" is a painting created by contemporary Ukrainian artist Inga Khanarina. The oil on paper

2010s Contemporary Nude Paintings



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A Close Look at contemporary Art

Used to refer to a time rather than an aesthetic, Contemporary art generally describes pieces created after 1970 or being made by living artists anywhere in the world. This immediacy means it encompasses art responding to the present moment through diverse subjects, media and themes. Contemporary painting, sculpture, photography, performance, digital art, video and more frequently includes work that is attempting to reshape current ideas about what art can be, from Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s use of candy to memorialize a lover he lost to AIDS-related complications to Jenny Holzer’s ongoing “Truisms,” a Conceptual series that sees provocative messages printed on billboards, T-shirts, benches and other public places that exist outside of formal exhibitions and the conventional “white cube” of galleries.

Contemporary art has been pushing the boundaries of creative expression for years. Its disruption of the traditional concepts of art are often aiming to engage viewers in complex questions about identity, society and culture. In the latter part of the 20th century, contemporary movements included Land art, in which artists like Robert Smithson and Michael Heizer create large-scale, site-specific sculptures, installations and other works in soil and bodies of water; Sound art, with artists such as Christian Marclay and Susan Philipsz centering art on sonic experiences; and New Media art, in which mass media and digital culture inform the work of artists such as Nam June Paik and Rafaël Rozendaal.

The first decades of the 21st century have seen the growth of Contemporary African art, the revival of figurative painting, the emergence of street art and the rise of NFTs, unique digital artworks that are powered by blockchain technology.

Major Contemporary artists practicing now include Ai Weiwei, Cecily Brown, David Hockney, Yayoi Kusama, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami and Kara Walker.

Find a collection of Contemporary prints, photography, paintings, sculptures and other art on 1stDibs.

Finding the Right nude-paintings for You

Today, antique and vintage nude paintings are popular works of art to consider when decorating your home.

The nude as an artist’s subject gained prominence in ancient Greece, wherein male nudes were rendered equivalent to power and victory owing to the Greeks’ celebration of men in athletic events as well as in the worship of the gods who populate Greek mythology. Nude sculptures in Greece positioned men as warriors — strong, moral and fearless. The naked female figures featured in prehistoric art and the art of ancient civilizations, on the other hand, were symbols of fertility and procreation.

Italian painters of the 1400s looked to the magnificent nude sculptures of Greek and Roman art for inspiration. By the end of the century, drawing of undressed models was part of the common practice for these artists. When Christianity had spread through Europe, however, Christians condemned Renaissance nude paintings — most of which are considered famous nude paintings today — because they were erotic, exploring, in some cases, same-sex relationships as well as women’s sexual power. Censorship was the order of the day, except for religious-themed works, such as 1526’s iconic Adam and Eve, an oil painting made by German Renaissance painter Lucas Cranach the Elder, one of more than 50 works made in his workshop based on the biblical story. Tuscan painter Daniele da Volterra was famously hired to paint fig leaves over the most exposed figures of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. While freedom of expression for artists has expanded significantly since then, prudish censorship persists when it comes to Renaissance nudity.

On 1stDibs, find a wide variety of authentic antique and vintage nude paintings, from works focused on the reliably reclining figures of Impressionist-style art to oil paintings created by contemporary artists who often work to reject the idealized human forms and unrealistic depictions of female nudes that preceded them. Additionally, find a primer on 1stDibs on how to arrange wall art as well as tips on creating salon-style gallery walls for presenting the wonderfully provocative nude paintings you’ve decided to bring into your home.