Thin Skin is an exhibition of contemporary and historical paintings by Australian and international artists who explore the liminal space between figuration and abstraction. Guest curated by Australian, London-based writer, curator and former editor of frieze magazine, Jennifer Higgie, it features works by thirty-six artists.
As a term, ‘thin skin’ is joyfully ambiguous. Thin Skin refers not only to the delicate membrane that separates body, mind and environment, but to other borders: thresholds between reason and unreason, wisdom and foolishness, life and death, the conscious and unconscious, laughter and weeping. To have ‘thin skin’ is to be hypersensitive to the world around you. Paint is a thin skin on a surface.
Some of the artists in Thin Skin employ absurdity, slapstick, parody, caricature and/or dreamlike logic to explore themselves and their place in the world. Others depict bodies in rich, often intertwined, conversations with the psyche, the land, domestic or work environments and with animals. Thin Skin also embraces the idea of ‘thin places’, an ancient term of mysterious provenance that refers to locations with a unique or peculiar energy. They are places that attract spirits; they appear when the distance between earth and heaven narrows. In Thin Skin, the ephemeral is made tangible.
The fully-illustrated catalogue features new writing by Jennifer Higgie and a specially commissioned short story by Chloe Aridjis, award-winning Mexican-American novelist and writer.