LEXINGTON The Lexington Art League (LAL) launches 2016 with the exploration of a foundational and timeless subject — the figure — in the upcoming exhibition Artist: Body, presented by QX.net. For this exhibition, LAL hired guest curator Julien Robson, former curator of Contemporary Art at The Speed Museum in Louisville. Robson, who hails from Vienna, London, and Louisville, has explored numerous private collections and galleries from London to Cincinnati to curate this exhibition, serving as a platform for Kentucky artists to be seen in an international framework.
Artist: Body takes the concept of a figure show and translates it through the lens of the self-portrait in contemporary art. 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.”
“The Lexington Art League understands the value that many have placed on our January exhibition dedicated to the study of the figure. It is important to note, however, that this first exhibition cycle of 2016 is not a return to The Nude. Artist: Body is an intense self-analysis. It is for both the local artist and local collector, but does not contain an abundance of work from either. This show is contemporary art as idea and not object. Artist: Body is pivotal as it elevates our discourse about the purpose contemporary art holds in our lives,” says Christine Huskisson, president of the LAL Board of Directors.
Much of the work in Artist: Body portrays the artists’ 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 added.
“The examination of the figure has long been a foundational practice for LAL. Through an extraordinary collection of self-portraits that illustrate the daring practice of depicting one’s self through art, Robson has curated an intense and thoughtful exhibition with the highest level of conceptual integrity,” said Stephanie Harris, executive director of LAL.
Kicking off the exhibition cycle for Artist: Body, LAL will host a warm-up event entitled Fourth Friday: A Figure Study on January 22nd from 6–9pm and set to include live figure drawing in the spacious galleries of the Loudoun House. Artist: Body Opening Preview Party is February 19th from 6–10 pm at the Loudoun House. For additional information, visit www.lexintonartleague.org.