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Gender Trouble


In "Gender Trouble," queer theorist Judith Butler argues that gender is not a concrete, definable entity, but instead is an amalgamation of individual practices that come together to create gender categories. For Butler, gender is something that you "perform" or "do," not something that you "are." With this argument, Butler muddies binaristic and rigid understandings of gender and sex, illuminating how practices of deviance reshape gendered norms.

The objects in this resource explore behavior, aesthetics, and forms of intimacy that resist hegemonic gender structures. Rather than merely reifying dominant systems, these objects beg the viewer to question the validity of normative practice and bodily presentation. What makes gender real? What are the results when gender is played with or rejected on the whole? How can gender be used as a tool of the state, how can it be used as a form of resistance?

A group of artists in a studio with easels, painting a nude figure on a stage.
George Wesley Bellows
The Life Class
lithograph on paper
20 x 14 11/16 in. (50.8 x 37.15 cm)
Dr. Herbert & Doris Sloan
Howard Chandler Christy
Gee! I Wish I Were a Man - I'd Join the Navy, Naval Reserve, or Coast Guard
color lithograph on paper
40.9 x 27 3/16 in. (104 x 69 cm)
Gift of Mr. Maurice F. Lyons
Andy Warhol
Nude Model (Male)
Polacolor on photographic paper
4 1/4 in. x 3 3/8 in. ( 10.8 cm x 8.6 cm )
Gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
Andy Warhol
Nude Model (Male)
Polacolor on photographic paper
4 1/4 in. x 3 3/8 in. ( 10.8 cm x 8.6 cm )
Gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
Andy Warhol
Nude Model (Male)
Polacolor on photographic paper
4 1/4 in. x 3 3/8 in. ( 10.8 cm x 8.6 cm )
Gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
Howard Chandler Christy
I Want You for the Navy - Promotion for anyone enlisting, apply any recruiting station or postmaster
photo-lithograph on paper
41 3/8 x 27 3/16 in. (105 x 69 cm)
Gift of Mr. Maurice F. Lyons
A photograph of two women standing in the street of a city; one figure stands nude behind a woman wearing a suit. 
Helmut Newton
Rue Aubriot, Paris
gelatin silver print on paper
12 3/16 in x 8 1/8 in (30.96 cm x 20.64 cm)
Gift of Gerald and Selma Lotenberg
This photograph depicts two models standing in an elegant interior. They are embracing and kissing, posed to appear as mannequins. 
Helmut Newton
Mannequins, Quai d'Orsay, Paris
gelatin silver print on paper
12 3/16 in x 8 1/16 in (30.96 cm x 20.48 cm)
Gift of Gerald and Selma Lotenberg
Egon Schiele
Standing Female Nude - Back
charcoal and pen on paper
18 1/8 in. x 11 5/8 in. ( 46 cm x 29.5 cm )
Gift of the Ernst Pulgram and Frances McSparran Collection
Andy Warhol
Shoes
Polacolor on photographic paper
4 1/4 in. x 3 3/8 in. ( 10.8 cm x 8.6 cm )
Gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
A boy sitting on a skateboard with his head down, smoking a cigarette held in his right hand.
David Rosen
Skateboard Knees
gelatin silver print on paper
11 in. x 14 in. ( 27.94 cm x 35.56 cm )
Gift from the Collection of David S. Rosen MD, MPH
Side by side images of the same woman. On the left, she is wearing a long coat. On the right, she is nude.
Greg Friedler
Botanist, 21 Years Old
toned gelatin silver print on paper
6 x 9 in. ( 15.24 x 22.86 cm )
Gift from the Collection of David S. Rosen MD, MPH

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Last Updated

February 5, 2019 3:23 p.m.

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