The Human Factor: The Figure in Contemporary Sculpture brings together the work of over 20 leading international artists, in whose practice the human form plays a central role.
Over the past 25 years, artists have reinvented figurative sculpture by looking back to earlier movements in art history as well as imagery from contemporary culture. Setting up dialogues with modernist as well as classical and archaic models of art, these artists engage and confront the question of how we represent the ‘human’ today.
In these works, bodily forms hover between familiarity and an unsettling otherness, between signs of presence and absence, agency and objectification, as artists find novel ways to question our commonplace codes of subjectivity and to challenge our impulse to identify with the anthropomorphic.
Eschewing concerns related to psychological portraiture, these artists use the figure as a catalyst for evoking far-ranging content, including subjects spanning political violence and mortality to sexuality and voyeurism.
A unique survey of contemporary figurative sculpture: Hayward Gallery, London, 17 June – 31 August 2014.