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Lead White and the related painting Ivory Black explore the representation of race and gender. The paradoxical titles of the two works are both taken from the names of oil paints, implying that the division between black and white is not as clear as the proponents of apartheid believed. Lead White is a self-portrait, based on an image of the artist’s own body. The figure strikes an exuberant, exhibitionist pose, but her body is at the same time deliberately unglamourised, awkward and self-conscious, challenging traditional ideas about the representation of the nude

March 2008