THE NAKED TRUTH
TWO current London exhibitions use the female nude to highlight issues of power and race, but in very different ways.
South African-born Lisa Brice’s exhibition at the Stephen Friedman Gallery in Mayfair is an intimate show in every sense of the word: the women on view in these small works on paper are involved in everyday rituals of dressing and undressing and seem to be unaware of the artist.
All the paintings are done in a deep, striking blue — creating light, shade and depth. For the artist, this particular hue brings to mind Trinidad carnival revellers who paint their skin blue in order to become emboldened by the vibrant, energetic traditional characters of the “Blue Devils”.
At Tiwani Contemporary in Marylebone, Phoebe Boswell’s exhibition features digital tech combined with traditional draftsmanship to create pencil drawings, animations and installations. Modern tech gives these female nudes a voice. The life-size models each hold a mobile phone, with its screen visible to the viewer. When scanned with a phone or iPad, the screen reveals an observation or fact chosen by the woman portrayed to reveal something she wants you to know about her, or about her life.
Lisa Brice, until April 22 at Stephen Friedman Gallery, Old Burlington Street, W1 (stephenfriedman.com; 020 7494 1434)
For Every Real Word Spoken, by Phoebe Boswell, until April 22 at Tiwani Contemporary, Little Portland Street, W1 (tiwani.co.uk; 020 7631 3808)
Power and intimacy: see Lisa Brice’s nudes at Stephen Friedman Gallery