Each of the artists included in The Embodiment of Form: The Figure in Art represents the human body. In this selection of works drawn from the MMFA’s permanent collection, the artists create impressions of their subjects rather than fully-detailed realistic representations producing evocative images that address our shared humanity.
For example, in Handsome, Amy Sherald’s portrait of a young man, the artist portrays the humanity and dignity of everyday Americans. By rendering his skin tone in monochromatic gray, she draws attention to his facial expression to expose the interior and emotional life of her subject, revealing that each of us is more than the color of our skin. Other artists, such as Amy Pleasant, depict the body in silhouette. Pleasant’s stylized and fragmented body parts illustrate how we use our bodies to communicate with minimal gestures. The figure, distilled to its essence in these images, becomes a way for us to connect with who we are, not as individuals, but as a collective body.
Organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama.
Above: Amy Pleasant (American, born 1972), Untitled (Seated #4), 2016, ink and gouache on paper, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase, 2017.12.2