A culture's body image, as refracted through its art, will usually provide a more telling account of its preoccupations than the most explicit political art; it seems that cultural symptoms leak more readily into depictions of the body than into more overt statements. This is especially true in periods of heightened alienation, when the solitary figure gains poignancy, but bodies register their eras in many ways: the signifiers of opulence, imperialism, fashion, social decay, sexual convention and anxiety can all be readily inscribed onto the human form in art--and indeed, always have been. Fractured Figure projects our millennial moment as one of fragile bodies pitched against a restless, dysphasic backdrop, in which terrorism and global warming impinge as daily realities. It draws on the world-renowned contemporary collection of Dakis Joannou, who, in collaboration with Jeffrey Deitch, has previously organized shows such as Artificial Nature and Post Human, in which similar concerns have arisen. Here, in works by Chris Ofili, David Altmejd, Richard Prince, Urs Fischer, Pawel Althamer, Ashley Bickerton, Barnaby Furnas and others, the figure is shown as un-idealized and compellingly mortal--situated in a realm that we will immediately recognize as our own.
Arts & Photography, Museums & Collections,