The Glory and the Limits of the Body: Bio-art Exhibition by Christian Paraschiv

15/03 - 13/04/2012 @ 1 Belgrave Square, SW1X 8PH

Opening: Thu 15 March, 6.30pm @ 1 Belgrave Square SW1X 8PH

16 March-13 April, 10am-5pm

With the London Olympics 2012 approaching fast, the human body – its performances and its limits – becomes the focus of reflection and debate this year. Christian Paraschiv, one of the most famous Romanian artists abroad, expresses his vision in a flux of works under construction since the ‘90s, bearing the title Skin & Body and encompassing painting, sculpture, drawing, scanned imagery, installations, photo montage, video elements, art books.

The artist traces the concepts of corporeality and identity to our biological core: in the specific form of bio-art that he practices, his own cells, prelevated in a laboratory, give birth to an artificial skin, fixed in latex and wood resins. For Paraschiv, the skin is the contour of the body in the world, an ensemble of signs which can be technologically represented: if scanned, it is the trace of corporeality decomposed into fragments – body-in-pieces – like a puzzle making up a new body, another individual.

Alongside his suite of scanned panels, painted in resins and gold leaf, the artist covers the human skull in lead, makes his self-portrait via crosswords or impresses his body on transparent gelatine, in multiple copies – all unique representations of the biological and metaphysical, the scientific and metaphorical, the limited and glorious body.

“Paraschiv is baroque in his art, his creative uproar finding its counterpoint in his long exercised analytical spirit. The ideas and life itself, the profane and the sacred, his own body and the social body, the present and history are blended in his work. His art starts a dialogue with science, by making use of state-of-the-art technology. Paraschiv exposes us to an explosion of artistic information that represents a show in itself.”

Adrian Guţă, critic, in the monography Black is the colour of language, 2011

Christian Paraschiv (born 1953) became known in the ‘80s as an exponent of the generation which radically transformed Romanian experimental art, leading the path towards international aesthetic postmodernism. He left Romania in 1986 and moved to Paris, where he is represented by the Oudin Art Contemporain Gallery. Individual exhibitions (selection): Black Is the Colour of Language, 1986-2011, Oudin Art Contemporain Gallery, Paris; Bio Art Skin & Body 1990-2011, Oudin Art Contemporain Gallery, Paris; Body for Space, recent works 2007-2008, Oudin Art Contemporain Gallery, Paris; Retrospective 1977-2007, MNAC, Bucureşti; Nomos/The Body, ICR Paris, Oudin Art Contemporain Gallery, Paris.