Lebanese artist Huguette Caland (b. 1931) has her first UK museum solo exhibition at Tate St Ives. Shifting between figuration and abstraction in large, colourful paintings and detailed drawings, the works will reveal the delicate balance between the suggestive and the explicit in Caland’s practice. Taken from the late 1960s to the early 80s, many of the works will be shown in the UK for the first time, revealing her artistic significance.

Caland’s exploratory practice has had a key, if under-recognised, role in the development of international modern art. In the 1970s, after moving to Paris from Beirut, she created exuberant and erotically-charged paintings, which challenged traditional conventions of beauty and desire. The female physique is a recurrent motif in her work, depicted as landscapes or amorphous forms. Caland has often used her own body as a subject, and her self-representation comes from a desire to liberate and control how her own body and the bodies of other women are depicted.

Born Huguette El Khoury in Lebanon in 1931, her father, Bechara El Khoury, became the first post-independence president of Lebanon in 1943. She studied art at the American University in Beirut and lived in Paris and then California for many years, before returning to Beirut in 2013. Her work is currently included in Sharjah Biennial 14.


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