As Is: Beauty and the Body in Contemporary Art

Tuesday, Oct 4, 2022 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Grand Valley State University Art Gallery
1 West Campus Drive

GVSU Arts Gallery (PAC 1121)
Haas Center for Performing Arts, Allendale Campus
August 26, 2022 - November 4, 2022
Opening Reception: September 22, 2022, 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Our bodies are both personal objects and shared spaces. They allow us to physically experience the world and are also complex entities where concepts of beauty, self, gender, and identity intersect. Although there is a long history of artists engaging the human form, increasingly, contemporary artists have embraced the complexity and imperfection of the body as it is.

This exhibition, selected from a private collection in Chicago, brings together 20 artists from the last 25 years who actively engage the body and its changing role through their work. Drawing on historical and progressive approaches to figuration, they celebrate the body as a source of inspiration and challenge traditional notions of beauty and representation.

The images and renderings of bodies in this exhibition are not neutral. They reveal each artist’s motifs, beliefs, and passions and raise questions about the representation of the human form in a world still saturated with idealized images of the body. More importantly, they provide meaning and help us see ourselves and how we see others within a culture that is increasingly conscious of age, race, gender, and status.

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