Commercial Illustration’s Immaterial Bodies

Professor Jennifer Greenhill Associate Professor of Art History, University of Southern California

What strategies did the commercial illustrators of Bellows’s day develop to articulate the body in the context of the mass press? How did the particular material contexts of illustration inform their techniques for appealing to modern consumers whose own bodies were on the move as they flipped through a magazine, for example, or rushed past a newsstand? This paper explores these questions by focusing on imagery that sought to tap into the multi-sensorial conditions of consumption, often by leaving bodily contours out of view.