Helen Chadwick

26 Apr 2024 – 6 Jul 2024

Regular hours

10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00

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Berlin, Germany

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Société is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of the late conceptual artist Helen Chadwick. One of the most influential figures in British contemporary art, Chadwick was known for groundbreaking, visceral work that explored sexuality, identity, and the body. Her radical, transgressive practice riffed upon and subverted taboos, clichés, and artistic conventions to address fundamental questions about being in the world. Many of her works drew upon her own experience and incorporated unorthodox materials like bodily fluids, meat, flowers, chocolate, and compost as well as traditional material like photography, bronze, and glass. Chadwick’s work engaged the body in numerous ways, whether through sculptural objects that corresponded to evolving mass of the artist’s body from her premature birth until the age of thirty, as in the work Ego Geometria Sum (1982-1983), or a series of bronze sculptures entitled Piss Flowers (1991-1992) whose forms partially derive from Chadwick and her partner urinating in mounds of snow. The show at Société assembles a selection of the artist’s significant early works. A central piece is the artist’s early video performance Domestic Sanitation (1976). Clad in latex body casts adorned with tufts of fake pubic hair or appearing as female-furniture hybrids, Chadwick and a group of friends enact absurd domestic and beauty rituals while a voice in the background hawks beauty products. The video is presented alongside a photographic series from the following yearentitled In the Kitchen, which features the artist inhabiting wearable soft sculptures of “gendered” household appliances like a stove, washing machine, or refrigerator. Similar to contemporaries like Martha Rosler’s Semiotics of the Kitchen or Mierele Laderman Ukeles’ Maintenance Art, Chadwick’s offbeat tableaux draw attention to the complex and often unspoken structures that shape women’s experience.

Helen Chadwick was one of the first women artists to be nominated for the Turner Prize in 1987. Most recent exhibitions include Sculpture Park at Compton Verney, Warwickshire; Women in Revolt! at Tate Britain, London; Bloom at York Gallery, York; Helen Chadwick at The National Museum, Oslo; Body Poetics at GIANT, Bournemouth; and The Horror Show! at Somerset House, London. Important solo exhibitions include Wreaths to Pleasure, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds; Helen Chadwick: A Retrospective, Barbican Art Gallery, London, which travelled to the Manchester City Art Gallery, Manchester; Kunstmuseet Trapholt, Kolding and Liljevalch Konsthall, Stockholm; and Bad Blooms, Museum of Modern Art, New York, which travelled to Norrköpings Konstmuseum, Norrköpings; Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis; and Uppsala Konstmuseum, Uppsala, Sweden. Chadwick’s 1986 exhibition Of Mutability, which opened at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, is considered a seminal point in the breakthrough of the YBA movement. Chadwick’s work is included in the Arts Council Collection; British Council Collection; Tate Collection; National Portrait Gallery; Victoria & Albert Museum and MoMA, NY, amongst many others.

This exhibition was made with the support of Richard Saltoun Gallery and The Estate of Helen Chadwick.

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Helen Chadwick


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