Pen + Brush Opening Reception of
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: New York, NY, (June 1, 2023)— Pen + Brush is excited to present Bodies, bodies, bodies: raffish vulnerability and profane ambivalence opening on June 15 at 6pm. Artists in the exhibition pull back the veil on submission, loss, desire, vulnerability, and the body's ability to symbolize actualities about the turbulent human experience.
The human body has long been a source of interest and expression for artists to visualize the complexities of race, ethnicity, gender, and sex. But here, we add a new layer to dealings of the body in contemporary art: the body as a metaphor and a point of departure during times of increased global awareness and social and political shifts. Works featured range from more literal depictions of the human body to fragmented abstractions and metaphorical illusions—all marked by unconventionality and the weight of, often, mixed, or conflicting emotions.
The formal use of shapes and line become a metaphor for the human body. Absence becomes a metaphor for nostalgic memories or fearful anxieties. Expressions of the mind are conveyed without regard for the body, and in doing so, universalisms emerge that are inseparable from the human experience. Ambivalent thoughts are publicly weighted, irresolution pervades, and conventional hierarchies of the body are profanely rejected.
“Bodies” represents the authentic and earnest ways in which these artists buck convention so thoroughly that the final product appears unabashed, even crude. The body is literally what binds us, yet here, and contemporarily, it also separates us as we inevitability react to this public and radical display. This show forces viewers to reckon with their own perspective values, boundaries, and biases. Curator Parker Daley Garcia
Detail of Emily Blair Quinn's, Breathe, 2021, Oil on canvas, 38 x 30.75 inches