Ships | David Zwirner, London | Preview March 2, 2022?

David Zwirner is pleased to present Ships, a group exhibition at the gallery’s London site featuring works by artists from diverse generational and geographic backgrounds. Working in a range of media, these artists engage in different ways with the idea that the living body is a vessel – one that contains life force or spirit, but is also subject to social, political and cultural constructs. .

Ships is curated by gallery director Galuh Sukardi and will include works by Ruth Asawa, Huguette Caland, Seyni Awa Camara, Marlene Dumas, Geumhyung Jeong, Shio Kusaka, Maria Lassnig, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Mrinalini Mukherjee, Alice Neel, Magdalene Odundo, Berenice Olmedo, Pamela Rosenkranz, Andra Ursuça and Portia Zvavahera.

The exhibition is organized around three central themes. A number of the exhibited works can be seen as earthenware vessels, which embody a dialogue between inside and outside. Through their use of organic materials, artists such as Shio Kusaka, Magdalene Odundo, Mrinalini Mukherjee and Seyni Awa Camara explore in their forms the dichotomy between function and form as well as between solid and void, the architectonic structure of the vessel often evoking a resonance spiritual.

Cyborg Vessels – represented by the work of Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Geumhyung Jeong and Berenice Olmedo – alludes to the presence of a human form. These artists subvert this very presence by using a technical, mechanical or robotic gesture, which often reads as a defect or a “glitch”. What then appears are remnants of different realities and temporalities. In his book 2020 Glitch Feminismcurator Legacy Russell calls the glitch a structural failure, one that represses views outside the mainstream culture, but through which a new space can be opened up, and therefore a site of potential that allows us to reinvent our humanity outside the traditional notions of race, gender and sexuality.

Psychological vessels question the presence of consciousness, an experiment explored in the work of Maria Lassnig, Portia Zvavahera, Huguette Caland and Alice Neel. These painters explore in different ways the limits of the body as a receptacle of life, the physical presence of the body in a dreamscape, or the mental perception of feelings or even expressions.

Drawing on a wide range of ideas, from spirituality to folklore, from sexuality to psychology, the works presented explore the limits of human experience in their representations of bodies as lived vessels as well as the issues when the body is signified as a vessel. In all these categories, there are shifts where the works become places where the human experience took place but also where social and cultural ideas are projected.


See also

March 2–April 2, 2022
24 Grafton Street, London

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