Maureen Paley is pleased to present the third solo exhibition by Thomas Eggerer at the gallery and his first in our Studio M location.
“My ongoing interest in the fragmented body informs the two paintings in Stranded. Depicted in each work are groups of three figures who appear to be involved in a protest, waving flags, and holding up signs. As in previous works, these gestures are rather ambivalently directed towards an imagined audience and the flags and signs shelter the figures from the inquisitive eyes of the viewer or some other threat. Blowing in the wind, the sail-like flags indicate arbitrary energy and unlimited movement, contrasting with the restricted passivity of bent bodies and dangling extremities underneath them. Hands and legs appear to be attached to torsos as if they could be removed or repositioned. This generates an image of the body that is somewhat unstable or questionable in terms of its coherence. The figures are rendered just under life-size, giving them an appearance that is reminiscent of a ventriloquists’ doll – apparently active while surrendering to gravity, simultaneously inanimate and alive. The unemotional demeanour of my figures combined with the fragmentation of their bodies aligns with a realism closer to the puppets and automatons of Surrealism and Dadaism than to a less conflicted type of Realism, which often engages in more affirmative representations of the bipedal human.”