Annette Bezor: A Passionate Gaze

Bezor’s portraits investigate beauty and sexuality of the female form in the context of the male gaze.
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Annette Bezor: A Passionate Gaze

Annette Bezor: A Passionate Gaze focuses on the art of Annette Bezor. A brilliant artist, Bezor’s portraits investigate beauty and sexuality of the female form in the context of the male gaze.

The book begins by contextualising Bezor’s work within the traditions of painting and the long established traditions of portraiture. Portraiture, being one of the oldest forms of painting has lost some of the respect it once enjoyed, as its importance diminished with the advent of photographs. As a result portrait painters have had to struggle for recognition. Bezor’s work however extends portraiture into a new era.

This book follows the development of Bezor’s life and work; however rather than being biographical following a strict chronology of dates and facts, it focuses on the development of Bezor’s technique, style and subject. The first part of the book is in the form of an extended essay which includes images of relevant artworks in text, so the reader can refer to them easily.

Following the essay is an image gallery of specific works, some of which are referred to in the essay. The gallery shows the progression of Bezor’s paintings from the early eighties to present day, showcasing how Bezor investigates femininity and sexuality through portraiture.

Bezor’s early works of the 1980’s have a strong Australian slant, using arid Australian landscapes to form the back drop of her portraits. These works like The Snake is Dead of 1981, are very self revealing yet lack the vanity of many other artists who paint and utilise their body in their art.

The new faces of Bezor’s latest body of work, from her Tension series of the late 1990’s, show a strong development of her style. As Grayson described, these new works ‘no longer return our gaze, but instead provide a surface from which the gaze itself bounces off’. It is through these works in particular, that Bezor shows that portraiture is still alive in today’s contemporary art scene.

Finally Annette Bezor: A Passionate Gaze closes with a bibliography of selected references as well as a curriculum vitae that the reader can refer to, for the dates and places Bezor’s career and exhibitions.

This book is well structured and easy to read. The essay is informative not just for the information it provides on Annette Bezor and her art work, but also for the extra information it provides. In his essay Richard Grayson, contextualises the works historically and thematically positioning Bezor’s works within the contemporary art movement.

Richard Grayson is an artist, writer and curator who has exhibited his own work and curated numerous exhibitions of other artists. From 1991 to 1998 he was the Director of Adelaide’s Experimental Arts foundation.

Annette Bezor: A Passionate Gaze is part of the best selling SALA series from Wakefield press.

Title: Annette Bezor: A Passionate Gaze
Author: Richard Grayson
Genre: Art; painting
Publisher: Wakefield Press
ISBN: 9781862545281
RRP: AU $39.95 NZD $49.90

Jade Wildy
About the Author
Jade Wildy is an art theorist and historian based in Adelaide, Australia and she is currently studying for a Masters of Art History at the University of Adelaide. Jade holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts, with a major in ceramics from the University of South Australia. Jade aspires to become an art writer and researcher to pursue her love of visual art and art history. Her current research interests centre around contemporary art with a particular focus on Environmental Art, but she also has a love for psychology, biology and contemporary culture through art, music and dance. Jade enjoys working in her established home studio, as well as fiction and arts writing, and have written numerous reviews for ArtsHub Australia on both visual and performing arts in addition to several book reviews.