The Body Observed, a new photography exhibition, organised by the Sainsbury Centre and Magnum Photos, includes over 130 works from the 1930s to the present. The exhibition explores how Magnum photographers have turned their lens to the human body, examining issues such as identity, intimacy, sexuality and ritual, to voyeurism and performance amongst others.
The exhibition includes well-known images such as Eve Arnold‘s portraits of Hollywood icon Joan Crawford, and Philippe Halsman‘s Dalí Atomicus, a work selected for TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential Images of All Time” in 2016. Also included are photographs by Alec Soth from his series Niagara— an exploration of melancholy love in one of America’s best-known honeymoon destinations, photographs from Susan Meiselas’ celebrated Carnival Strippers series and Alessandra Sanguinetti‘s Ophelias, from The Adventures of Guille and Belinda, inspired by John Everett Millais’ classic painting.
The body has been a recurrent subject throughout the history of art but the advent of photography offered new opportunities to engage with past modes of representation. Photography had the potential to mimic or subvert existing visual codes and the camera has been used to examine, categorise, scrutinise and objectify the human form, establishing a new visual language.
The Body Observed: Magnum Photos
23 March – 30 June 2019
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK