On Sexuality: Helen Chadwick & Penny Slinger review – radical bodies
Richard Saltoun Gallery, London
In an inspired pairing, the taboo-breaking 1960s and 70s work of these two British artists remains visceral and urgent today
Awoman sits imprisoned in her own giant wedding cake, its tiers like manacles around her naked body. Another is lopped into parts and then badly reassembled, so that her limbs are uselessly displaced. A third lies shrouded in a white coffin, its lid open for the viewing of the corpse – except that at second glance this is not a casket. This woman is entombed in a shiny fridge-freezer.
There is such an affinity between these photo-based images – so visually coruscating, so emotionally succinct – that they might almost be by the same artist. But the first two were made by the British-American Penny Slinger (born 1947), and the last is from the British sculptor, photographer and installation artist Helen Chadwick (1953-96), whose superbly original imagination remains such a deep loss to the art scene.