Lexington Art League to launch new year with Artist:Body, set to open in February

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The Lexington Art League (LAL) is set to launch into the new year with the exploration of a foundational and timeless subject – the figure – in the upcoming exhibition Artist: Body, presented by QX.net. For this exhibition LAL hired guest curator Julien Robson, former curator of Contemporary Art at The Speed Museum in Louisville.

Robson, a native Brit who lives between Vienna and Louisville, has explored numerous private collections and galleries from London to Cincinnati to curate this exhibition, serving as a platform for Kentucky artists to be seen in an international framework.

Julien Robson

Julien Robson

Artist: Body takes the concept of a figure show and translates it through the lens of the self-portrait in contemporary art. A compelling survey of the artists’ image of themselves, Robson says, “Throughout the ages, images of the human body have been used by artists, often to explore allegory, beauty and sexuality. Time has witnessed many shifts in the way the body is portrayed and in recent decades, influenced by contemporary thinking and the availability of different visual technologies, artists have increasingly employed themselves as both the subject and object of their works.”

“The Lexington Art League understands the value that many have placed on our January exhibition dedicated to the study of the figure. It is important to note, however, that this first exhibition cycle of 2016 is not a return to The Nude. Artist: Body is an intense self-analysis. It is for both the local artist and local collector, but does not contain an abundance of work from either. This show is contemporary art as idea and not object. Artist: Body is pivotal as it elevates our discourse about the purpose contemporary art holds in our lives,” said Christine Huskisson, president of the Board of Directors.

Much of the work in Artist: Body portrays the artists’s sense of ownership of her or his body and, most importantly, how it is represented. While the themes explored within the exhibition are vast and multi-layered, one prominent connecting fiber is the vulnerability each artist shares as they expose viewers – and in many cases showcase – their most intimate selves in working with their own bodies.

Among others, Artist: Body includes works by Louis Zoellar Bickett, John Coplans, Julius Deutschbauer, Bryce Hudson, Thaniel Ion Lee, Gabriel Martinez, Cynthia Norton, Cindy Sherman, Xaviera Simmons, Kiki Smith, Annie Sprinkle, Hannah Wilke, and Sam Taylor Wood.

“The examination of the figure has long been a foundational practice for LAL and we are thankful to Julien for lending a new perspective to this timeless subject. Through an extraordinary collection of self-portraits that illustrate the daring practice of depicting the self and its changing identities through art, Robson has curated an intense and thoughtful exhibition with the highest level of conceptual integrity” said Stephanie Harris, Executive Director LAL.

Kicking off the exhibition cycle for Artist: Body, LAL will host a warm-up event entitled Fourth Friday: A Figure Study on January 22 from 6-9 p.m. and set to include live figure drawing in the spacious galleries of the Loudoun House.

Artist: Body Opening Preview Party is February 19th from 6-10 pm at the Loudoun House. To purchase tickets and for additional information visit www.lexingtonartleague.org.

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