MELT is a group exhibition exploring a dialogue between artists pushing figuration to its melting point, both formally and conceptually. Using paint, graphite, and photography, these artists present the body as malleable; a tool in which to evoke tenderness, humor, unease, and an inherent humanity.
Brice Chatenoud (born 1987) uses digital tools to manipulate the bodies in his photographs. His nude figures are rendered as a literal object on a table or as part of an assemblage, suggesting elements of both classical figurative sculpture and still life painting. While the forms appear stripped of identity and sexuality, they remain an object for us to gaze upon, convoluting what it means to objectify a human body.
Giovanni Garcia-Fenech’s (born 1967) paintings are uneasy self- portraits. His classical forms recall the sinewy black figures depicted on Etruscan pottery or the distorted bodies of early renaissance paintings. Manipulating scale and proportion, limbs push against the unprimed canvas edges, showing a graceful yet humorous discomfort in occupying a two-dimensional space. Performative in nature, these portraits present the body as object, forcing a dialogue with the architecture it inhabits.
In this series of black and white photographs by Adam Putnam (born 1973), he binds and pulls his own body into unnatural positions, testing the limits of the physical form.
The torsos in Oda Jaune’s (born 1979) surrealist painting literally melt together, as if to suggest a transcendence within the realms of physical intimacy. Set within a dream-like atmosphere, her work pushes the boundaries of sexuality and challenges the viewer to expand their own definition of an intimate encounter.
Justin Liam O’Brien’s (born 1991) oil paintings and graphite works on paper evoke tenderness and affection through the soft blending of line, color, and composition. Interlocking, elongated forms rendered with gradient tones embody the quiet moments found in domestic intimacy.