Contemporary art as a medium for compassion, transformation and timeless metaphysical questions, is explored in a powerful special exhibition on view this summer at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
. Phantom Bodies: The Human Aura in Art considers the relationship between mind, body and spirit through a selection of 38 paintings, photographs, videos, sculpture and installation that are designed to inspire connection and commemoration. Among the coterie of top international artists represented in Phantom Bodies are Christian Boltanski, Janet Cardiff, Shirin Neshat, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Doris Salcedo, Anish Kapoor, Sally Mann, Ana Mendieta, Damien Hirst, Gerhard Richter and Bill Viola. The exhibition is on view at The Ringling in Sarasota, Florida, June 17 through Sept. 11, 2016.
Phantom Bodies: The Human Aura in Art was organized by Mark Scala, Chief Curator at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. The installation at The Ringling is being overseen by Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Matthew McLendon.
As a university art museum dedicated to examining the art of our time through an ambitious program of contemporary exhibitions, performances, and teaching and learning opportunities, The Ringling welcomed the opportunity to present this immersive exhibition of leading contemporary voices whose projects arouse aesthetic and emotional responses to personal and universal loss, said Executive Director Steven High.
The exhibitions four thematically distinct sections Objects and Absences, Violence, Empathy, and Erasure, Sublimation, and The Mind-Body Problem each offer a particularly compelling and rewarding lens through which to view contemporary works of art. Binding the works together is an empathic and poetic dialogue between artist and audience, a transfer of energy similar to the transmutation of the objects themselves into the embodiment of absence and meaning.
The connection forged in Phantom Bodies between artists and the human presence left behind in objects is both provocative and profoundly moving, said McLendon. One of the through-lines in this exhibition is the examination of how objects can embody and reanimate emotions, feelings and memories, which speaks to the broader purpose of museums to create meaningful personal experiences through works of art.