Explore the exhibition
This exhibition focuses on artists whose work approaches the body and anatomy in complex ways through degrees of abstraction or fragmentation. In doing so, these artists subvert both the way the body has been traditionally represented in the history of art and the conventions surrounding the (classical or modern) fragment. While it highlights the work of women artists, it also includes work which challenges gender stereotyping and binary or cis-gender categories in favour of gender fluidity, often expressed through a fluidity of bodily form.
Forma II (Form II)
Herbier bleu I (Blue Herbarium I)
In-Out (Antropofagia) [Antropophagy], from Fotopoemação [Photopoemaction] series
A sculpture by Louise Bourgeois, ‘Nature Study #6’ (1995), belongs to a series of bodily fragments rendered in marble. In the work, numerous smoothly carved breasts, which emphasise the maternal body with its capacity to nurture and regenerate, are contained within a roughly hewn trough or sarcophagus.
‘A Lull Gone By’ (2021) by Christina Quarles is a deliberately enigmatic, vivid painting teeming with breasts, limbs, torsos, and faces reconfigured into flowing and gender-ambiguous forms. In her work, Quarles explores the different ways in which race, gender, and sexuality contribute to the mingling and questioning of identity. Quarles’ work is juxtaposed with that of the late Austrian master Maria Lassnig, whose painting ‘Selbstportrait als Einäugige (Self Portrait as One Eyed)’ (1997) is included in the exhibition. Lassnig’s theory of ‘body awareness’ shaped a Surrealist-influenced method of communicating her mental perception of herself and her feelings through lacerating depictions of her own naked figure.
‘Bodily Abstractions / Fragmented Anatomies’ explores a variety of aesthetic approaches and techniques such as abstracting, fragmenting, cropping, juxtaposition, mutation and mutilation. The works subvert the fetishization of the female or traditionally gendered body, or its reduction to sexualized parts and surface appearances, and replace it with works that address female-centred or non-binary experience, the outward manifestation of interior feeling, profound psychological states, and intellect.
On view in Monaco
‘Bodily Abstractions / Fragmented Anatomies’ is on view now through 30 Apr 2022 at Hauser & Wirth Monaco.