Running from 23 March until 30 June 2019, the group show will explore how Magnum photographers have turned their lens to the human body, examining issues such as identity, intimacy, sexuality and ritual, to voyeurism and performance amongst others.
It will include well-known images such as Eve Arnold's portraits of Hollywood icon Joan Crawford, and Philippe Halsman's Dalí Atomicus, a work selected for TIME magazine’s "100 Most Influential Images of All Time" in 2016.
Also featured are photographs by Alec Soth from his series Niagara— an exploration of melancholy love in one of America’s best-known honeymoon destinations, photographs from Susan Meiselas’ celebrated Carnival Strippers series and Alessandra Sanguinetti's Ophelias, from The Adventures of Guille and Belinda, inspired by John Everett Millais' classic painting.
"The body has been a recurrent subject throughout the history of art but the advent of photography offered new opportunities to engage with past modes of representation," states the Sainsbury Centre. "Photography had the potential to mimic or subvert existing visual codes and the camera has been used to examine, categorise, scrutinise and objectify the human form, establishing a new visual language."
The Body Observed will be curated by Monserrat Pis Marcos, curator at the Sainsbury Centre, in collaboration with Emily Graham, Cultural Commissions & Partnerships at Magnum Photos.