Lehmann Maupin is pleased to present Under the Skin, a group exhibition featuring artworks by gallery artists Tracey Emin, Klara Kristalova, Alex Prager, Robin Rhode, Juergen Teller, and Erwin Wurm. The artists included in this exhibition will present a diverse selection of works that are linked by a shared engagement with figurative representation in contemporary art.
Under the Skin features a selection of Emin’s intimately-scaled monoprints and watercolors, including self-portraits that portray the figure in the classical reclining nude pose. Executed in a style reminiscent of German Expressionism, these works evoke the raw emotion and poignancy typical of Emin’s work, revealing the artist’s innermost hopes, fears, and disappointments.
Kristalova’s Big Girl (2013) uses the traditions of ceramics to integrate a conventional figurative form with a ceramic elephant-headed figure. In Big Girl the artist explores concepts of physical and psychological transformation by exposing a mysterious confluence between the human and animal worlds.
Prager, whose practice often explores the figure in relation to its surroundings, will exhibit recent photographic work that evokes a sense of ambiguity about time and place. The artist often creates narratives that straddle the line between fiction and reality, relaying a sense of anxiety, suspense, and general unease.
Rhode’s nine-panel photograph Carry-on (2013) depicts a figure gesturing with what appears to be a piece of luggage, outlined by a scaled-down geographical map of South Africa. The ”push-pull” resistance between the character and his “carry-on” bag evokes notions of transnational movement and the burdens of identity, highlighting the relationship between the individual figure and society.
Cerith, Suffolk (2011), Teller’s photograph of a seemingly catatonic man lying still on a bed, buoyed by a vibrant clutch of balloons, evokes a loss of spirit and the decay of the living body. The fleeting nature of the figure’s exhausted life is juxtaposed starkly with the effervescent colors floating above him.
The exhibition will also feature Wurm’s Step (2014), a new large-scale work from the artist’s Abstract Sculptures series. Continuing his exploration of the anthropomorphic qualities of the sausage-like form, Wurm challenges the viewer’s ingrained psychological perceptions of a recognizable object. In Step Wurm alters and re-envisions the traditional representation of the figure by adopting the frankfurter form, drawing subtle parallels to the physiology of the human body.