Painting Banned As Too Pornographic To Be Shown In New London Gallery

The Leyden Gallery has announced that the painting ‘Portrait of Ms Ruby May Standing’ by Leena McCall, which was removed and censored from the Society of Women Artists’ 153rd annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries, is now to be shown at the Leyden Gallery, London.

The painting “Ms Ruby May, Standing’ was exhibited in the  Society for Women Artists (SWA) for their 153rd annual exhibition and subsequently removed from the Mall Gallery for being deemed ‘too pornographic and disgusting’. The removal of Leena McCall’s erotic and feminine portrayal of Ms Ruby May, a clothed femme fatale, sparked a Twitter campaign asking supporters to debate #eroticcensorship that sparked hundreds of people from all over the globe to send their support, concern, even disagreement to the removal of the painting.

Ms McCall was approached by the Leyden Gallery to show the art work as part of their current Summer Salon. ‘Portrait of Ms Ruby May, Standing’ will be available to view along with other art works at the Leyden Gallery from Friday 11 -26 July. London and Berlin based visual artist, Leena McCall is interested in exploring the female sense of erotic and how women choose to express their erotic identity.

Leyden Gallery are a relatively new London Art Gallery who opened in September 2013 and who show classic and traditional art alongside contemporary emerging talented artists. They are located between the City of London and Spitalfields market where tradition and fashion meet head on.

McCall said: “I’m glad my painting will be available for public viewing, after its removal from the Mall Galleries and I am grateful to the Leyden Gallery for showing it. Women’s sexual identity is clearly a topic that has sparked considerable discussion online and I am keen to work with the Leyden Gallery to give that discussion a forum for debate.”

Adriana Cerne, Leyden Gallery director said: “Leyden Gallery is a relatively new London Art Gallery who actively re-dress the negative imbalance of women in art exhibitions. Sixteen out of twenty- four artists currently on show in our Summer Salon are women. With the eagerly awaited inclusion of Leena McCall’s painting this will now be seventeen. Furthermore, we look forward to the debates that will rightly follow in the wake of the decision to remove this painting on the grounds of it being ‘pornographic’ and ‘disgusting’.”

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