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Being in the World

The Long Museum’s tenth anniversary coincides with a time when we have been unable to be in the world.  The Covid pandemic has led to societies around the globe being in confinement. This exhibition is conceived in response to our yearning for social encounters and for being in the world - all through the prism of the artist’s eye.

The human figure dominates. The assembled paintings and installations encompass artists’ self-portraits, family albums, strangers in surreal scenarios, groups gathered in social activities.

Being in the World takes us on a journey through four ‘episodes’ each themed after one work. Episode One focuses on the single figure, on artists’ self portraits and the relation between artist and model. The paintings in Episode Two capture the dynamics of families, friends and lovers. Episode Three features depictions of groups who may be strangers or colleagues, workers or revellers.

Episode Four takes us into the realm of abstraction where artists use colour, light and form to generate sensory environments. We move from looking at the body from outside, to occupying the body from inside, in order to encounter the material reality.

There may be one dominant subject – the human – but there are a multitude of aesthetic approaches. Ranging from collage to hyperrealism, they reflect major movements in modern and contemporary art.

Iwona Blazwick

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