The quandaries of love and desire have been debated in philosophy, literature, music and art across cultures, spanning centuries. The main characters that give rise to love and desire are the lover and the beloved. Although the lover is a seeker of an ultimate union, the challenge arises when s/he realises both figures are plagued by an unbridgeable separation between their bodies and minds. The exhibition Beloved Bodies looks at the ways in which these quandaries of love and separation have been translated through various representations of the human figure. In a selection of works that date from the early 20th century to present, the representation of the human body alters in form and function through time. The image of the body not only moves between figuration and abstraction, but also from an object of desire, affection and observation, to an active, self-conscious figure that observes, seeks and confronts the viewer’s gaze. The diverse range of works featured in Beloved Bodies offers a wide scope for reading the different sides of love and desire and highlights the spectrum of thrills and frustrations, aspirations and shortcomings associated with the imminence of internal longing.
Curator - Mandy Merzaban