flesh at york ART GALLERY
23rd SEPTEMBER 2016 - 19TH MARCH 2017
“Flesh is a word that immediately provokes a reaction – it is no surprise that artists have always drawn on this tactile, organic and changeable material for inspiration. This exhibition brings together some of the biggest names in art as well as exciting emerging artists who all interpret flesh in different ways. From still life paintings and anatomical studies to abstract sculpture and contemporary film, Flesh presents a series of visual encounters which surprise and challenge, raising questions about the body and ageing, race and gender, touch and texture and surface and skin.”
Laura Turner, Senior Curator of Art and Science at York Art Gallery
Two works from Jonathan Yeo’s Surgery Series - Secondary Augmentation-Mastopexy, 2011, and Extended SMAS (Superficial Musculo-Aponeurotic System) Facelift, 2011 - were on display at a major new exhibition entitled 'Flesh' at York Art Gallery. The show also featured works by Lucian Freud, Auguste Rodin, Helen Chadwick, Jenny Saville, Leon Kossoff, Francis Bacon and Sarah Lucas.
Jonathan Yeo’s Surgery Series, from which the two works on display were taken from, started in 2011 and explores the current prevalent trend for plastic surgery and the quest for physical ‘perfection’. The concept behind the series first captured Yeo’s interest in 2010 when the artist was spending a considerable amount of time in Los Angeles. As with Yeo’s more traditional portraits and Porn Collage Series, the Surgery Series continues to explore Yeo’s long-held interest in notions of beauty and human identity. It also seeks to capture a particular moment in our evolution, where people are willing to undergo dangerous and expensive procedures in the pursuit of beauty, using methods that could well seem barbaric in the not-too-distant future.