Helen Chadwick

April 26 – July 6, 2024

Helen Chadwick, In The Kitchen (Stove), 1977

Helen Chadwick, In The Kitchen (Stove), 1977

Société is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of the late conceptual artist Helen Chadwick. One of the most influential figures in British contemporary art, Chadwick was known for groundbreaking, visceral work that explored sexuality, identity, and the body.

A central work in the exhibition is Chadwick’s early video performance Domestic Sanitation (1976). Clad in latex body casts adorned with tufts of fake pubic hair or appearing as female-furniture hybrids, Chadwick and a group of friends enact absurd domestic and beauty rituals while a voice in the background hawks beauty products. The video is presented alongside a photographic series from the following year entitled In the Kitchen, which feature the artist inhabiting wearable soft sculptures of “gendered” household appliances like a stove, washing machine, or refrigerator. Similar to contemporaries like Martha Rosler’s Semiotics of the Kitchen or Mierele Laderman Ukeles’ Maintenance Art, Chadwick’s offbeat tableaux draw attention to the complex and often unspoken structures that shape women’s experience.

Helen Chadwick was one of the first women artists to be nominated for the Turner Prize in 1987. Most recent exhibitions include Sculpture Park at Compton Verney, Warwickshire; Women in Revolt! at Tate Britain, London; Bloom at York Gallery, York; Helen Chadwick at The National Museum, Oslo; Body Poetics at GIANT, Bournemouth; and The Horror Show! at Somerset House, London. Important solo exhibitions include Wreaths to Pleasure, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds; Helen Chadwick: A Retrospective, Barbican Art Gallery, London, which travelled to the Manchester City Art Gallery, Manchester; Kunstmuseet Trapholt, Kolding and Liljevalch Konsthall, Stockholm; and Bad Blooms, Museum of Modern Art, New York, which travelled to Norrköpings Konstmuseum, Norrköpings; Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis; and Uppsala Konstmuseum, Uppsala, Sweden. Chadwick’s 1986 exhibition Of Mutability, which opened at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, is considered a seminal point in the breakthrough of the YBA movement. Chadwick’s work is included in the Arts Council Collection; British Council Collection; Tate Collection; National Portrait Gallery; Victoria & Albert Museum and MoMA, NY, amongst many others.