• Installation view, Meta Visceral, Lévy Gorvy London, 2021. Photo: Stephen White

  • Installation view, Meta Visceral, Lévy Gorvy London, 2021. Photo: Stephen White

  • Installation view, Meta Visceral, Lévy Gorvy London, 2021. Photo: Stephen White

  • Installation view, Meta Visceral, Lévy Gorvy London, 2021. Photo: Stephen White

  • Installation view, Meta Visceral, Lévy Gorvy London, 2021. Photo: Stephen White

  • Installation view, Meta Visceral, Lévy Gorvy London, 2021. Photo: Stephen White

  • Installation view, Meta Visceral, Lévy Gorvy London, 2021. Photo: Stephen White

  • Installation view, Meta Visceral, Lévy Gorvy London, 2021. Photo: Stephen White

  • Installation view, Meta Visceral, Lévy Gorvy London, 2021. Photo: Stephen White

  • Installation view, Meta Visceral, Lévy Gorvy London, 2021. Photo: Stephen White

  • Installation view, Meta Visceral, Lévy Gorvy London, 2021. Photo: Stephen White

  • Installation view, Meta Visceral, Lévy Gorvy London, 2021. Photo: Stephen White

  • Installation view, Meta Visceral, Lévy Gorvy London, 2021. Photo: Stephen White

  • Installation view, Meta Visceral, Lévy Gorvy London, 2021. Photo: Stephen White

  • Installation view, Meta Visceral, Lévy Gorvy London, 2021. Photo: Stephen White

  • Installation view, Meta Visceral, Lévy Gorvy London, 2021. Photo: Stephen White

  • Installation view, Meta Visceral, Lévy Gorvy London, 2021. Photo: Stephen White

  • Installation view, Meta Visceral, Lévy Gorvy London, 2021. Photo: Stephen White

  • Installation view, Meta Visceral, Lévy Gorvy London, 2021. Photo: Stephen White

  • Installation view, Meta Visceral, Lévy Gorvy London, 2021. Photo: Stephen White

META VISCERALExhibition

London
June 1 - July 31, 2021

META VISCERAL

Beginning 1 June, Lévy Gorvy will present META VISCERAL, a curated group exhibition focused upon contemporary explorations of the human body as both an object burdened with historical meaning and a subject of direct experience to be shared. Fragmented, transformed, and reconstituted by artists throughout the 20th century and into 21st, the human body remains an essential theme across mediums.

A highlight of the exhibition is Anthropométrie sans titre (ANT 162) (1960) a major painting from Yves Klein’s most renowned series. Unlike traditional figurative painting, in which a model is the passive subject of depiction through an act of representation, Klein’s Anthropométries were created through active engagement: he applied his proprietary International Klein Blue (IKB) pigment to a model, who then pressed her body onto the canvas, leaving a direct impression of her physical form. The resulting painting is both sensuous and enigmatic, existing as a permanent trace of ephemeral bodily presence. Resonant with the Anthropométries, David Hammons Body Prints of the 1970s saw the artist create ethereal impressions using grease and pigment applied directly to the body. Fundamental to the development of Hammons’s unique artistic vocabulary, the Body Prints establish composite corporeal images that capture visages and represent his experience as a Black man and an artist. These themes are also fundamental to the work of Jeff Sonhouse, who explores identity and sartorial presentation through a distinctive painted style.

Bruce Nauman has used his own body as raw material since the 1960s. To create Hand Pair (1996), the artist cast his left and right hands to the wrist, welding the resulting bronzes together so that they appear to reach in opposite directions. Short-circuiting conventional bodily gestures through strategies of conjunction and fragmentation, Hand Pair is a key work in Nauman’s conceptual explorations of perception and experience. Since the 1980s, Thomas Schütte has turned to figuration, probing its expressive and allegorical potential, as seen in sculptures such as Basler Mask (No. 11) (2014). Embracing a diverse range of media and forms and using the human body to query our relationships with nature, Giuseppe Penone creates hybrid sculptural and mixed media works that explore his understanding of skin as “a boundary, a border or dividing, the last point to be able to add, subtract, divide, multiple, cancel everything around us, the last point, container and contained.” Performance artist Miles Greenberg is inspired by scientific and spiritual interpretations of the body. His video projection PNEUMOTHERAPY (II) (2020) documents a seven-hour live performance, enacted as a ritualistic ode to the respiratory system.

The psychologically resonant art of Louise Bourgeois plays a defining role in META VISCERAL, which includes a selection of sculptural works and Lullaby (2006), a series of 25 phallic abstractions screen-printed onto a background resembling that of music paper. Breasts and Blade (conceived 1991) extends Bourgeois’ use of anatomical fragments to evoke emotional states, with multiple breasts emerging from within the wavelike folds and protuberances of its corporeal form. Carol Rama stages psychosexual dramas in the watercolor and bricolage works on view, exulting in female anatomy in ways that are bold and abject. Like Rama, Sarah Lucas employs unconventional materials and avant-garde strategies to explore issues of female sexuality in the 21st century. Her Nude No. 1 (1999) and Sheela na gig (2012), are two central works featured in the exhibition that use bodily surrogates to confront objectification and channel a fiercely charged feminism.

Exhibition design for META VISCERAL was created in collaboration with Studioilse, London.

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Selected Works

  • Yves Klein's painting Anthropometrie sans titre (ANT 162)

    YVES KLEIN
    Anthropométrie sans titre (ANT 162)
    1960
    Dry pigment and synthetic resin on paper laid down on canvas
    42 1/2 x 29 1/8 inches (108 x 74 cm)
    © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

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  • David Hammons's painting Untitled

    DAVID HAMMONS
    Untitled
    c. 1970
    Grease and dry pigment on paperboard
    Work: 31½ x 21¼ inches (80 x 54 cm)
    Framed: 37⅜ x 27⅜ inches (95 x 69.5 cm)
    © David Hammons

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  • Jeff Sonhouse's painting Untitled, 2021

    JEFF SONHOUSE
    Bispatial Sibling
    2021
    Oil, acrylic gel medium, pumice gel, and galvanized wire on canvas
    80¾ x 57¼ inches (205.1 x 145.4 cm)

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  • Bruce Nauman's silicon bronze sculpture Hand Pair

    BRUCE NAUMAN
    Hand Pair
    1996
    Silicon bronze
    Hand pair: 4 1/2 x 15 3/8 x 5 1/2 inches (11.4 x 39.1 x 14 cm)
    Fingertip: 5/8 x 2 x 3/4 inches (1.6 x 5.1 x 1.9 cm)
    Unique trial proof
    © Bruce Nauman / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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  • Thomas Schutte's ceramic sculpture Basler Mask (No. 11)

    THOMAS SCHÜTTE
    Basler Mask (No. 11)
    2014
    Glazed ceramic
    14 3/16 x 11 13/16 x 8 1/16 inches (36 x 30 x 20.5 cm)
    © Artists Rights Society (ARS) New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

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  • Louise Bourgeois's series of 25 screen prints Lullaby

    LOUISE BOURGEOIS
    Lullaby
    2006
    Twenty-five screen prints on fabric
    Each: 15 1/8 x 11 3/8 inches (38.4 x 28.9 cm)
    Edition 8 of 12, with 2 AP
    © The Easton Foundation/VAGA at ARS, NY

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  • Carol Rama's painting Bricolage

    CAROL RAMA
    Bricolage
    1964
    Pigmented plaster, tempera, and doll's eyes on Masonite
    Work: 20 x 27 3/4 inches (50.8 x 70.5 cm)
    Framed: 27 15/16 x 35 13/16 inches (71 x 91 cm)
    © Archivio Carol Rama, Torino

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  • Giuseppe Penone's print Svolgere la propria pelle - Coincidenza d'immagine 13 giugno 1970

    GIUSEPPE PENONE
    Svolgere la propria pelle - Coincidenza d'immagine 13 giugno 1970
    1970
    Selenium toned photographic print on baryte paper and typographic ink on paper
    Framed: 24 3/4 x 31 3/8 inches (62.8 x 79.7 cm)
    © Giuseppe Penone / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

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  • Giuseppe Penone's bronze sculpture Gesto vegetale

    GIUSEPPE PENONE
    Gesto vegetale
    1986
    Bronze
    55 1/8 x 47 1/4 x 19 11/16 inches (140 x 120 x 50 cm)
    © Giuseppe Penone / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

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  • Sarah Lucas's sculpture Sheela na gig

    SARAH LUCAS
    Sheela na gig
    2012
    Concrete toilet, tights, fluff, wire, and adobe bricks
    54 5/16 x 22 13/16 x 17 5/16 inches (138 x 58 x 44 cm)
    © Sarah Lucas

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  • Sarah Lucas's sculpture Nude No. I

    SARAH LUCAS
    Nude No. 1
    1999
    Table, coconuts, pants, vest, and brush
    28 3/4 x 50 13/16 x 23 5/8 inches (73 x 129 x 60 cm)
    © Sarah Lucas

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