Artist: Body at Lexington Art League

Curator Julien Robson and LAL reinvigorates their examination of the figure through the lens of self portraiture in contemporary art.

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LEXINGTON With the triumphant return on January 29, 2016 of the signature Fourth Friday series, Lexington Art League’s ‘A Figure Study, ushered in one of the most anticipated exhibitions of the organization’s season. Establishing the framework for themes in Artist: Body, ‘A Figure Study’ intimately explored the foundational and timeless subject of the body with exciting, interactive components.

Within the larger exhibition of Artist: Body, guest curator Julien Robson — former curator of Contemporary Art at The Speed Museum in Louisville — has explored major private collections and galleries from London to Cincinnati to translate the traditional figure show through the lens of self-portraiture in contemporary art. An unprecedented exhibition of iconic 20th and 21st century works, the cycle opens with the Artist: Body Opening Preview Party on February 19, 6–10pm, and Artist: Body Fourth Friday on February 26, 6–9pm. Both events are scheduled at the historic Loudoun House. The exhibition will close March 27.

A compelling survey of the artists’ image of themselves, Robson states, “Throughout the ages, images of the human body have been used by artists, often to explore allegory, beauty and sexuality. Time has witnessed many shifts in the way the body is portrayed and in recent decades, influenced by contemporary thinking and the availability of different visual technologies, artists have increasingly employed themselves as both the subject and object of their works.”

Much of the work in Artist:Body portrays the artists’s sense of ownership of her or his body and, most importantly, how it is represented. While the themes explored within the exhibition are vast and multi-layered, one prominent connecting fiber is the vulnerability each artist shares as they expose viewers – and in many cases showcase – their most intimate selves in working with their own bodies. “In this context the image of the artists’ body is open and vulnerable, subject to self analysis and intimate dissection, while at the same time resisting a comprehensive interpretation.” Robson further added.

Among others, Artist: Body includes works by Louis Zoellar Bickett, John Coplans, Julius Deutschbauer, Bryce Hudson, Thaniel Ion Lee, Gabriel Martinez, Cynthia Norton, Cindy Sherman, Xaviera Simmons, Kiki Smith, Annie Sprinkle, Hannah Wilke, and Sam Taylor Wood.

“The examination of the figure has long been a foundational practice for LAL and we are thankful to Julien for lending a new perspective to this timeless subject. Through an extraordinary collection of self-portraits that illustrate the daring practice of depicting the self and its changing identities through art, Robson has curated an intense and thoughtful exhibition with the highest level of conceptual integrity” said Stephanie Harris, Executive Director LAL. “We are also thankful for the continued support of our longstanding partners at for their generous commitment through their sponsorship of this exhibition cycle.” Harris further stated.

MD-Update is a media sponsor of the Artist: Body exhibit and Preview Party at the Lexington Art League.

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