Lucian Freud created an entirely new genre in the depiction of the human figure. His ‘naked portraits’ present subjects as pure animal forms not dissimilar from inanimate still life objects, while at the same time rendering painted flesh with an extraordinary, penetrating humanity. ‘A Not So Still Life’ presents Freud’s late large paintings ‘Naked portrait in a red chair’ (1999) and ‘David and Eli’ (2003–4). By turns clinical and intimate, stark and tender, the works resulted from weeks of intense sitting by and scrutiny of the artist’s subjects. While the woman in the first portrait goes unnamed, the second picture identifies Freud’s two most constant companions: his long-time studio assistant and friend David Dawson, and his whippet Eli. Both paintings evidence Freud’s almost ruthless process of observation and forensic reckoning of the human body. “Living people interest me far more than anything else,” Freud stated. “I’m really interested in them as animals. The one thing about human animals is their individuality: liking to work from them naked is part of that reason, because I can see more.” Continue Reading
Neil Dawson (born 1948) is a prominent New Zealand sculptor. His best known works are large-scale civic pieces crafted from aluminum and stainless steel, often made using a lattice of natural forms which between them form a geometric whole. Continue Reading
Brooklyn-based artist Swoon celebrates everyday people and explores social and environmental issues with her signature paper portraits and figurative installations. She is best known for her large, intricately-cut prints wheat pasted to industrial buildings in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Continue Reading
Jim Skull creates fascinating, intricate sculptures, inspired by his namesake. These elaborate forms are produced using a range of materials; from rope, to papier-maché, tea bags or string. Each become his medium to be appropriated and transformed. He cites his inspiration as the strong cultural heritages of Africa, New Zealand, Asia, and Oceania. Ritual objects, historical relics and tribal symbols subtly weave their influence into his work. He is clearly marked by his travels and encounters, with each piece telling an understated story of adventure and exploration of ethnographic art representing traditional non-Western cultures Continue Reading
Puddles, Meteorites, A Surface of a Dinosaur Bone, Bronze, Grey Goo, Fat, Stone and Human Skin all have an aesthetic calling to de Joode. These things are explored for their material agency, not only their communication with us but with each other and their context.
Skin plays a central role in ‘The Molten Inner Core’. The average human adult carries roughly 2kg of dead skin, the surface of which is shedding every two weeks. This perceptual layer is therefore useful to de Joode when understanding a physical interaction between things, and investigating when a thing changes form.
Works ‘White Pedestal Thing’ and ‘Sculpted Human Skin In Rock’ explore the co- dependance and understanding of pedestal and sculpture. Visibly handmade clay miniatures act as pedestal and sculpture, while abstract forms in human-scale are flat. These two-dimensional shapes are covered in ‘sculpted’ photographs of skin and stand in solid rock. ‘Achilles’ depicts the artists heel and is printed the height of the artist. Although photography is used as representation, each object is acting in a non-hierarchical grouping. A print, the ink, the frame, the floor, a pedestal, a sculpture and even the artist herself retains a potential to become (melt into) another thing.
Over the past forty years, Lynda Benglis has developed a distinctive and influential sculptural language. Benglis rose to prominence during the 1960s and ’70s, a time when her singular practice both intersected with and transcended the categories of post-Minimalism and feminist art. Benglis’s sculptures suggest a remarkable range of influences, including the gestures of Abstract Expressionist painting, geological flows, and ceremonial totems.