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  • Published: 16 March 2022
  • ISBN: 9781846382512
  • Imprint: MIT Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 96
  • RRP: $32.99
Categories:

Helen Chadwick

The Oval Court



An illustrated exploration of Helen Chadwick’s erotic, playful, and fierce 1986 installation.

In 1986 the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London showed a new commission by the artist Helen Chadwick (1954–1996). What Chadwick conceived for the ICA exhibition explored her characteristic themes—the female body (her own), the aesthetics of pleasure, the material variety and wonder of phenomena—but took them in a new, flamboyant direction. In this illustrated volume, Marina Warner examines one part of Chadwick’s installation, The Oval Court. This work was erotic, playful, and fierce; it showed imaginative ambition on an exceptional scale and a unique, piquant sensibility, both raunchy and delicate.

Despite the work’s recognition as a feminist monument of rare intensity, it has rarely been shown or discussed since the author’s catalogue essay for the original exhibition. Warner here reconsiders Chadwick’s influence as an artist who helped to shift conventional aesthetics and transvalue despised, even abominated forms. Exploring the work’s richly layered composition in light of intervening years, Warner shows how Chadwick’s imagination has shaped many artists’ ideas and ethics, and emboldened their adventures with materials.

  • Published: 16 March 2022
  • ISBN: 9781846382512
  • Imprint: MIT Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 96
  • RRP: $32.99
Categories:

About the author

Marina Warner

Marina Warner spent her early years in Cairo, and was educated at a convent in Berkshire, and then in Brussels and London, before studying modern languages at Oxford. She is an internationally acclaimed cultural historian, critic, novelist and short story writer. Her non-fiction works include The Beast to the Blonde, No Go the Bogeyman, Fantastic Metamorphoses and Stranger Magic, while her fiction includes the novels The Lost Father (shortlisted for the Booker Prize), Indigo and The Leto Bundle, and short story collections including Murderers I Have Known. She lectures widely in Europe, the United States and the Middle East and was appointed CBE in 2008.

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