Contemporary Figuration: Between Body & Metaphor

Contemporary Figuration: Between Body & Metaphor
Contemporary Figuration-Between Body & Metaphor installation view at JD Malat Gallery

Contemporary Figuration: Between Body & Metaphor
14th December 2023 – 27th January 2024
JD Malat Gallery
30 Davies St
London, W1K 4NB

The human body is a physical entity, but it can also reflect a person’s spirit, sense of identity, and embrace contemporary metaphors. This exhibition seeks to bring together the work of contemporary painters who explore the body as both a material object and the embodiment of immaterial concepts. The themes touched upon by these artists range from the notion of self, identity, critical race, queer theory, and the technological body. The exhibition aims to highlight how different artistic styles of figuration can answer the question: how do we portray the human subject in today’s world?

Contemporary Figuration: Between Body & Metaphor
Contemporary Figuration: Between Body & Metaphor installation view
© JD Malat Gallery

In today’s world, our relationship with cross-cultural exchange, media, new technologies, and socio-political change has brought a greater emphasis on the significance of embodied experience. The body has taken on a transcendental meaning, and contemporary figurative painting seeks to represent this through different styles ranging from realism to abstraction and technologically informed practices.

These styles aim to tell the stories of diverse bodies and their connotations – encompassing the polarised, the ‘ideal’, the natural, the technological, the liminal, and more. By doing so, they help to situate these bodies within nuanced frameworks such as posthumanism, feminism, Otherness, and diasporic memory.

The curatorial premise of the exhibition encourages an open-minded and all-embracing experience, guided by each artist’s personal response to the theme of ‘Body & Metaphor’. The gallery has invited both represented artists and guest artists to share their thoughts on this theme in the exhibition catalogue. The aim is to champion an artist-centric model of the gallery space and highlight the gallery as a platform, rather than a mediator.

Contemporary Figuration: Between Body & Metaphor installation view
© JD Malat Gallery

Participating artists:
Georgia Dymock (b.1998), Emily Gillbanks (b.1999), Andrew Litten (b.1970), Ayanfe Olarinde (b.1996), Yann Leto (b.1979), Celine Ali (b.1997), Cathy Tabbakh (b.1989), Richard Wathen (b.1971), Han Ji Min (b.1981), Sophie-Yen Bretez (b.1994), Natalia Ocerin (b.1989), Erin Holly (b.1986), Tega Tafadzwa (b.1985), Mark Metcalfe and Ur Kasin (b.1998).

Contemporary Figuration: Between Body & Metaphor open on the 14th of December 2023 until the 27th of January 2024 at JD Malat Gallery

©2023 JD Malat Gallery

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