London Art Reviews

Magazine of art press and reviews from London

The exhibition of the Language of the Body at the Saatchi Gallery, London.

The exhibition of the Language of the Body at the Saatchi Gallery, London.

David Franchi – Thursday, 27th February 2014

Sarabande by Jansson Stegner, 2006 © Saatchi Gallery, London

Sarabande by Jansson Stegner, 2006 © Saatchi Gallery, London

Body Language at the Saatchi Gallery of London is an involving exhibition. It presents 19 artists who investigate, through the usage of various media, the human body and produce thought on the human form.

Human body has been put aside during the last five decades, due to prevailing currents of abstraction Pop and conceptualism. Nowadays, instead the body figure has regained an important position in art.

Body Language offers a convincing prove the human body is an intelligent subject to be used in art, for it is critical and in a continuous evolvement. Many works at the Saatchi Gallery find inspiration in Masters of the past, and looking back the years the evolution is very interesting.

From the grotesque and uncanny to the poignant and satirical, the works in this exhibition examine, in arresting and innovative ways, the diverse social and political issues that can be communicated through the human body.

For example, Jannson Stegner implements Romanticism style to portray contemporary longing, while Kasper Kovitz portrays Sabino Arana and Miguel de Unamuno, prominent figures in the history of the Basque struggle for independence from Spain. Dana Schutz’s pose questions to the process of visual storytelling, using a multitude of characters, props and activity. Denis Tarasov photographs Russian and Ukrainian mobster tombstones, relics of the 1990s Mafia Wars, which intricately depict the deceased the way they wish to be remembered. Makiko Kudo’s melancholic characters escape the woes of twentieth century Japan and float, hover, fall and tumble through fictive worlds reminiscent of Manga comics, and which reference Monet’s Water Lillies and Matisse’s Fauvist work.

Body Language reveals that the human body is still a potent topic for the visual arts and it will give more to the art debate.

Body Language features works by Tanyth Berkeley, Amy Bessone, Michael Cline, Nicole Eisenman, Chantal Joffe, Kasper Kovitz, Makiko Kudo, Nathan Mabry, Eddie Martinez, Justin Matherly, Dana Schutz, Jansson Stegner, Henry Taylor, Denis Tarasov, Alexander Tinei, Francis Upritchard, Andra Ursuta, Helen Verhoeven, Marianne Vitale.

Body Language exhibition is at the Saatchi Gallery, King’s Road, Sloane Square, London until the 16th March 2014.

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