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Body Symphonies Exhibition

Eleven Artists Explore the Life of the Body in “Body Symphonies”

Curators Marion Guggenheim and Nicolas Dewavrin share insight about the message depicted through the artworks recently shown in this Paris must-see exhibition.

“Body Symphonies” was recently open in the Marais in Paris, on view May 30-June 9. The exhibition was expertly curated by Marion Guggenheim and Nicolas Dewavrin, featuring paintings, sculpture, and video by 11 artists, including George Rouy, Alex Foxton, Jamiu Agboke,  Leo OrtaClaire Fahys, Malù Dalla Piccola, John Fou, Shuo Hao, Ricardo Fumanal, Giovanni Bassan, and Bianca Argimón, took an impactful difference in creative direction to reimagine the space bodies inhabit.

A Symphonic Interplay of Artworks

“Through a symphonic interplay of artworks, the exhibition examines how bodies abstract themselves from daily responsibilities,” said Guggenheim, “Creating a nocturnal space where they commune and resonate with their own impulses.” 

Body Symphonies Exhibition Installation view of “Body Symphonies.” image by Adrien Thibault

“Body Symphonies” investigates the full resonance of the body, creating an immersive story that redefines spaces and experiences. Each artist’s work delves into this exploration with redefined movement, amplitude, and density by liberating the impulse of the body to surpass expectations. It highlights how these bodies come into their own through different encounters within social functions. 

Argimòn’s piece, Rasgos de Sol y Sombra, reimagines the world of bullfighting through her videography by overturning it’s macho stigma with her heroine. Fumamal brings together bodies through a pop of hyperrealism where his paintings exude the wetness, pulsations, and the veins of bodies across the canvas surface. Fou brings to life color motifs that focuses on the theme of metamorphosis in hybrid organic body forms to diminish the boundary between human and nature.

“The exhibition delves into the life of the body beyond the control of the mind, celebrating its capacity to embody itself fully in its social functions, gender, and sexuality,” said Dewavrin.

The Body as an Escape

Ritmo de la Ciudadela by Fahys depicts a gathering of individuals finding their own freedom in the presence of each other. The oil panoramic fresco celebrates the movement and feeling of a Mexico City night. Infused with energy, full of heat and music, dancing allows these bodies to freely escape, empowering them to embrace their authentic selves. In the details of each individual, no reaction of the body is the same, sparking the individuality everyone has in the face of music. This convergence of bodies in motion becomes a conduit for a union of expression, exploration, and interaction beyond daily restraints, without judgment.

Installation view of “Body Symphonies,” featuring Claire Fahys and Leo Orta. Image by Adrien Thibault

Orta’s surrealist sculpture, Fauteuil Oiseau, is in the form of a chair with areas of movement throughout the top and bottom. Breaking out of the normal dispositions seen in a chair, the piece is abstracting the known and spontaneously diffusing its shape. Constructed out of fiberglass and polystyrene, a moment of aura is seen in the top of the sculpture with bright colors seeping out of the hole. The details pan out a blue acrylic paint into a marble design, dissolving its restraints.

Hao offers a moment of reflection to realize the effects of bodies brought together. In Couple Ivre and Vérité, the artist evokes an intimate moment of the pulsations bodies have in the presence of each other’s desires. The pastel drawing and oil painting capture the feeling of bodies in unison. Glowing in yellow and red, they embody a warmth that allows them to overlook and withdraw from the rest of the world, surrounded in the bliss of one another. 

SHUO HAO Couple Ivre, 2023, Pastel on paper, 28×23 cm (framed) (Right) and Vérité, 2023, Oil on Canvas, 40,5×32,5 cm (Left). Image by Adrien Thibault

Dancing on Army blanket by Bassan depicts a state of utopia, where bodies surpass their Earthly limitations. The oil painting gives life to dreams, where several lives exist within us, blurring out a single identity. Through the movements of the bodies dancing above, a fluid sense of self comes to life.

GIOVANNI BASSAN GIOVANNI BASSAN, “Dancing on Army blanket,” 2024, Oil and varnish on army blankets, 150×100 cm.

Agboke’s Golden Lake encourages a real-life, fully present engagement with the elements. The oil on copper painting features a landscape of green mountains, a blue sky that has the reflection of the golden lake which is centered in the middle. The piece offers the viewer a moment of tranquility to navigate the atmosphere intuitively on one’s own. The mental landscape presented through the brush strokes elicits the body’s reaction to the enchanted environment in front of us.

JAMIU AGBOKE Golden Lake, 2024 Oil on copper, stained oak frame, 20×25 cm.
Body Symphonies Installation view of “Body Symphonies,” featuring work by Alex Foxton and Mallu Dalla Picolla. Image by Adrien Thibault

Foxton and Piccola take mythical creatures to reality in their abstracted oil paintings. Foxton’s piece entitled, Study Sebastian and angel, brings a warm and cool tone palette. The bodies are depicted in different shades of pink joining together at the hands. A movement is shown throughout the background with brush strokes moving in thin rotation. Piccola’s painting, L’après midi d’un faune, showcases two bodies abstracted in movement. The body in white replicates a Centaur creature with limbs enrapturing the hooves of a horse and horns poking out of his head. The female body is dancing in rotation around, depicted in different shades of red.

—Words by Alex Michaluk and Margaux Lavernhe




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