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Maya Undressed: An exhibition of drawing and photography at the Structure Gallery, London,
with Alma Tischlerwood, Delva Simunovic and Jillian Lochner.


The exhibition takes influence from the two Mayas, by Francisco Goya. The two Mayas carry an infamous legacy, one which saw Old Master stripped of his Royal title as Spanish Court Painter.

In 1800 Goya finished painting ‘La Maya Desnuda’. It is still speculated retrospectively that Desnuda is the first obvious depiction of female pubic hair in a large western painting. The outrage within the society brought the attention of the Spanish Inquisition, deeming the painting as ‘obscene’. Goya was summoned to dress his nude, to cover her flesh and its obscenity. The master painter refused to cover her delicately painted exposition, and instead produced a second work, choosing to dress Maya on new canvas instead.

In 1803 the completed work ‘La Maya Vestida’ was hung on top of Desnuda, taking its place in Minister de Godoy’s collection. This allowed Godoy to reveal Maya’s painterly skin when it suited him, lifting Vestida to uncover Desnuda.

There can be many ways of framing the image of Maya in society today. Against the backdrop of commercial image making and advertising, we can find a sensibility of delicate beauty in the crafted representation of Maya’s form. The painting appears subtle, or even romantic, in relation to the cacophony of  nudity, fantasy, idealism and social distortion apparent in provocative television adverts and mainstream pornography. We are left by viewing Maya in her innocence and naivety, and become detached from the ability to empathise with the outrage, obscenity and shock which she faced within 18th Century Spanish society. We observe her depiction, uncovered skin and pubic hair, bringing our own connotations and subversins. We do not see her skin exposed, rather we see her form dressed up in a jaded idealism. Desnuda becomes Vestida again.

This exhibition seeks to undress Maya once more. An investigation through the
mediums of photography and drawing, Tischlerwood, Simunovic and Lochner attempt to
undress our relationships with image and the exposed human form in contemporary society.

Maya Undressed takes place from 13th February to 13th March at The Structure Gallery

Hours: Thurs. to Sat. 13.00 > 18.00 or by Appointment.


How To find us

The Gallery is located at 14, Ingestre Place, W1F 0JQ in Soho near Carnaby Street.

Structure Gallery
14, Ingestre Place
London W1F 0JQ

Phone: 020 7439 7718
07764 589888