Art Expressed Through Body Language At Saatchi Gallery

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 49 months ago
Art Expressed Through Body Language At Saatchi Gallery
Jansson Stegner
Sarabande
2006
© Jansson Stegner, 2006
Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London
Jansson Stegner Sarabande 2006 © Jansson Stegner, 2006 Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London
Kasper Kovitz
Carnalitos (Unamuno)
2010
© Kasper Kovitz, 2010
Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London
Kasper Kovitz Carnalitos (Unamuno) 2010 © Kasper Kovitz, 2010 Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London
Makiko Kudo
Floating Island
2012
© Makiko Kudo, 2012
Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London
Makiko Kudo Floating Island 2012 © Makiko Kudo, 2012 Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London
Denis Tarasov
Untitled (from the Essence series)
2013
© Denis Tarasov, 2013
Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London
Denis Tarasov Untitled (from the Essence series) 2013 © Denis Tarasov, 2013 Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London
Tanyth Berkeley
Grace in Window
2006
© Tanyth Berkeley, 2006
Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London
Tanyth Berkeley Grace in Window 2006 © Tanyth Berkeley, 2006 Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London
Dana Schutz
Reformers
2004
© Dana Scutz, 2004 
Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London
Dana Schutz Reformers 2004 © Dana Scutz, 2004 Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London

The Saatchi Gallery is renowned for always being on top of the latest trends in the emerging art world and this exhibition is positioned to capitalise on the resurgence we're seeing in representational art. This is an inspired decision and a step away from the gallery's usual focus on innovative media and conceptual works.

Around three-quarters of the works on display are paintings and, unfortunately, not many of them are any good. Most of the works feel too derivative of other styles or stand out as offering nothing different to what we've seen before. The biggest exception is Jansson Stegner whose women reclining in free and relaxed poses starkly contrast with the police uniforms they are wearing.

Thankfully it's not all paintings, and Denis Tarasov's photographs of gravestones in Russia that feature portraits of the deceased engraved on the headstones feel over the top yet understandable. In the same gallery, tombstones made out of scrap wood act as a testament to the natural world and how it continues when man-made structures fall.

Our favourite work of the exhibition is Andra Ursuta's mock-up of a trebuchet that seems to have flung a body at the wall. The wall is cracked and a contorted mannequin lies on the floor while another crushed body is in the other corner of the gallery. It looks humorous but these destroyed mannequins will resonate with visitors as a physical manifestation of an emotional situation we've all been in at some point in our lives.

Overall, this is a disappointing showing from the usually excellent Saatchi gallery. A few works do stand out but they are in the minority.

Body Language is on at Saatchi Gallery, King's Road until 16 March. Admission is free.

Also on at Saatchi Gallery are exhibitions on Refugee art and New British Art.

Last Updated 28 November 2013