Figurative art forges ahead
Body issues Depicting the human form is a staple artistic endeavour, but is the representational approach still relevant? A new exhibition seeks to find out…
New York is the location of ARC Select 2017: Contemporary Figures, an exhibition that brings together specially created work by some of the most exciting artists working in figurative art today.
ARC Select 2017 is a collaboration between the Art Renewal Center, which promotes realism in the arts, and Rehs Contemporary Galleries. This year’s invited artists include Vanessa Lemen, Marc Scheff, Emanuele Dascanio, Daniel Gerhartz, Sergio Lopez and Tim Rees.
“Our stylistic approaches to painting or drawing the figure might be varied, but the overall theme will have the human form as the subject,” says Vanessa. “I really look forward to seeing the show in its entirety, to get a feel for the thread that weaves us all together.”
For some of her pieces, she’s used oil on masonite, while a couple are mixed media: oil and acrylic on bookpages or collage mounted on masonite. “All began with abstract marks on the surface, before I painted into the marks to pull the image out,” she explains.
Meanwhile, Marc has been creating work for the show using resin and gold leaf, as well as pencil, acrylic and pastels. “There’s no overall theme – they’re just a reflection of my own mental state about being a parent, being in this political moment in time, and all the weird psychological stuff artists deal with when they find new success,” he explains.
The exhibition runs from 28 October to 17 November at Rehs Contemporary Galleries in New York (
“My work is figurative with surreal elements,” says Marc Scheff. Marc: “My hopes and fears as a 40-year-old man with two kids all come out in the canvas.” Vanessa describes her work as “excerpts from my own personal journey, using the figure as an integral part of the story.”
The potential for beauty in people is always there; that’s what I’m trying to find,” says Marc.