The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a group exhibition, Other Images of Man, to be held at Kunstmuseum Schloss Derneburg.
Since antiquity, figuration has been an entry point to the exploration of broader existential topics. In 1959, an exhibition titled New Images of Man curated by Peter Selz and presented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York focused on figuration in Europe and America following the Second World War. It presented “a new image of man, often shattered, or distorted, reflecting the anxieties of our century”. The exhibition in New York was preceded in 1950 by Das Menschenbild in unserer Zeit (The Image of Man in Our Time) in Darmstadt, which similarly responded to a post war anxiety through an investigation of the representation of the human form.
Today, new institutional presentations focused on the figure continue to be a means of exploring issues of equality, authority, appropriation, inadequacy, empowerment, and identity.
Other Images of Man features approximately sixty works by more than thirty artists produced from the 1960s to today. This multi-generational survey explores figuration in painting, photography, sculpture, and video, that expands and upends earlier representations of masculinity and the male form.
Tala Madani’s portraits of Iranian men are dark humored critiques on gender and authority through the lens of a contemporary but patriarchal society. In paintings like Rocky VI (2008), middle-aged men attempt displays of athletic prowess based on outdated standards which seem inherently comical without context or explanation.
American artist Bruce Nauman’s sculpture Double Poke in the Eye II (1985) is comprised of neon tubes forming two simplified and facing silhouettes. The illuminated human heads are separated by overlapping hands which animate a dual poking motion. The result is a poignant social commentary in which two figures are forced to endure endless conflict without resolution, simultaneously humorous and frustrating.
Cinga Samson is a South African artist whose depictions of African men reference the history of portraiture in European painting, the world of fashion, as well as his own heritage. Samson’s images are detailed studies of poses and facial expressions, which often explore complex dynamics between subjects. In small-scale portraits such as Into Entle 15 (2020), Samson sets his subject against a darkened background. With glowing white pupil-less eyes, the figure is imbued with an interior spirituality in an otherwise corporeal representation.
American artist Justin Liam O’Brien combines a sentimentality for antiquity and the male form, in which elongated mannerist bodies are draped in textiles and bordered by classical architecture. Visitation (2022) presents three young, nude males who are intimately connected in their physical proximity to each other yet appear to be psychologically and emotionally disassociated. O’Brien portrays himself and his companions joined by the symbol of a dove, suggesting peacefulness to their constructed environments within historically rich compositions.
Sophy Ricket’s series, Pissing Women, are black and white photographs that show the artist dressed as different women in formal business jackets and skirts urinating on the streets of London. This series, which includes Old Street and Vauxhall Bridge (both 1995), is one of Rickett’s earliest and most well-known projects. Through her staged performance and its documentation, Rickett articulates a type of vulgar and public behavior which is socially prescribed, and which raises questions not only about how expectations are set but who is allowed to abuse them.
Other Images of Man includes works by Adam Adach, Richard Artschwager, Georg Baselitz, Ana Benaroya, Lynda Benglis, Judith Bernstein, Caroll Dunham, Peter Eide, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Rainer Fetting, Ryan Gander, Adrian Ghenie, Alexander Harrison, Florian Krewer, Andrew Lenaghan, Lee Lozano, Markus Lüpertz, Marcin Maciejowski, Tala Madani, Tony Matelli, Jonathan Meese, Anne Minich, Pierre Molinier, Bruce Nauman, Justin Liam O’Brien, Julian Opie, A.R. Penck, Richard Prince, Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, Chris Regner, Sophy Rickett, Thomas Ruff, Cinga Samson, Eugen Schönebeck, Andres Serrano, Laurie Simmons, Kyle Staver, Francesco Vezzoli, Andy Warhol, and Franz West.
For more information and images, please contact the Hall Art Foundation’s administrative office at firstname.lastname@example.org.