Vanessa Beecroft

Jan 23, 2016


Vanessa Beecroft, born in Genoa, Italy and based in Los Angeles, is known for provocative artworks that question society’s obsession with the female body. In VB53, a live performance orchestrated by Beecroft, twenty-one female models of various ethnicities were gathered on a large, oval mound of moist earth inside the soaring iron-and-glass Tepidarium of Florence’s horticultural garden. The work began with the women standing upright, wearing nothing but the same style of fashionable shoes and facing the same direction. During the course of the three-hour performance the women grew sufficiently weary to brave sitting or reclining on the loamy mound, dirtying their bare skin with fresh soil. The work is represented in Presence: Selections from the Matthew and Iris Strauss Family Foundation Collection by video documentation of the compelling event. Beecroft will discuss VB53 and other projects from her artistic practice during her lecture at SDSU.

Woodblock prints of the love tree in the garden of the baby cherry tree

Presence: Selections from the Matthew and Iris Strauss Family Foundation Collection

Nov 05, 2015 – Jan 25, 2016


From a nineteenth-century ukiyo-e woodblock print to video documentation of a contemporary performance, the Matthew and Iris Strauss Family Foundation Collection comprises a compelling range of noteworthy international art. A thematic selection of the Foundation’s holdings is brought together for the San Diego community in Presence, the focus of which is images of women. Incorporating either the female figure itself or women’s apparel as surrogate for the female body, the works in the exhibition manifest a breadth of physical, psychological, social and political states of being. Exploring this diversity of female identity with a variety of media and from a global perspective, Presence features painting, printmaking, photography, installation, fiber art and video from Argentina, China, Britain, Italy, Japan, Norway, Pakistan, Sweden, and the United States.