The Millennium ExperienceChronicle of the Future

The body eclectic

08.11.38: WE'VE HAD MINIMALISM, we've had deconstruction, we've had reductionism (remember all those tiny black spots?). They each represented the world reduced, confined, controlled.

Now, 10 years after the first of the post-humanists, a small group of Glasgow artists is leading a return to formalism. And their first exhibition, entitled simply Flesh, has taken the art world by storm.

The King Charles Gallery is given over to a celebration of the human body, with all its faults and weaknesses held up to scrutiny in public.

There is a certain puritanism at work here; only hand-stretched canvases are used, and on each vast white space the human body appears in hideous close-up, stretched, twisted, contorted beyond recognition.

The artists, all graduates of Glasgow School of Art, where their mentor, Jenny Saville, studied in the 1990s, are using their own bodies as a way of challenging perceptions of what is and isn't physically acceptable.

Anton Doblem, a gallery spokesman, said: "Human beings are constantly trying to extend and repackage the body, deluding themselves that they are in control of their form." CS



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