Re: Figuring the Body is a group exhibition showcasing New England artists who are actively defining the body and body politics in a time of political polarization. Kingston Gallery members and exhibition jurors Conny Goelz-Schmitt, Mary Lang, Nat Martin, Ann Wessmann and Chantal Zakari selected works by twenty artists that foster important conversations around issues ranging from racism and exploitation, body image, gender identity and gender stereotyping, trauma and memory, and the body as a cellular structure as well as an energetic one. The installation of this curated collection in all three spaces of Kingston Gallery creates an opportunity for pairings and juxtapositions that bring a greater nuance to the discourse. The works are topical, poignant, and sometimes humorous.
We are delighted to be showing artists at every stage of their careers, from young artists still in school to mature artists reflecting a lifetime of work. Drawing, painting, photography, weaving and tapestry, sculpture, video, installation, and performance explore themes of illness, beauty, gender transition, aging, death, technology, immigration, and violence. The work by Re: Figuring the Body artists demonstrates the breadth of the topic, including gender fluidity and transgender identity explored in the photography of Natasha Moustache, sculptural installation by Russell Gibson, and paintings by Michael Costello. Amy Kaczur and Emma Welty utilize the traditionally female techniques of weaving and sewing to create conversation surrounding women's work, immigration, and historical trauma. The dialogue between viewer and artist deepens with imagery by Nicolas Papa, Skylar Borgstrom, and Lorraine Sullivan as they explore sexual identity, and gender stereotyping, while Jennifer Boisvert takes a classical approach to celebrating the human form with marble sculpture.
The exhibition pulls no punches in its direct address of political protest with sculptures by Celine Browning that comment on the shooting of Tamir Rice and the 21st century police state, Kathleen Kneeland's "grab em by the pussy" anti-Trump affirmations, and Rene Galvan's focus on the exploitation of blue collar workers. The diversity of vision within this bold collection of work is further demonstrated by a delicate focus on aging and the body as holder of trauma with Bethany Murray's skeletal drawings, Sarah Haskell's mixed-media tapestry, and cell scrapings made beautiful by Ji Yoon Chung to mark impermanent moments in time. Continuing the thread of physical embodiment are the sculptures of Brendan Kenny which emphasize the weight of the body through draped fabric, and Jeffrey Nowlin's vivid portrayal of illness through bound human form. In addition to these pieces, Re: Figuring the Body includes new media with an installation/performance piece about multitasking by Keegan Shiner, the technology of a 3D printed navel gazing device by Brian Reeves, and an image comprised of multiple body scans printed on toile by Daniel Zeese of a body that may or may not be real. All together the work illuminates a contemporary language of human experience explored viscerally by the twenty artists of Re: Figuring the Body.