Fragmented Bodies

Really Love by Wardell Milan
30″x20″; charcoal, graphite, China marker, pastel, oil pastel, acrylic, and collage on paper; 2023. Courtesy of the artist and Galleria Lorcan O’Neill.


Fragmented Bodies

at Galleria Lorcan O’Neill in Rome, Italy
5 April-18 June 2024

“Fragmented Bodies” is a group exhibition featuring new works by Celia Hempton, Wardell Milan, and Paul Mpagi Sepuya.

Born between the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s, the three artists share an interest in representing the human body as a fractured site rather than a unitary entity.

Scrutinised, reflected in mirrors, parsed and reassembled, the figures in the work of Hempton, Milan, and Sepuya reflect sympathies towards a number of current discussions in contemporary culture: the complexities of desire, the social construction of gender roles, the need to be seen and represented.

In the history of visual arts, fragmented figures have often been linked to modernity and the construction of Modernism as a style. Cut-off views of people in paintings by Éduard Manet and Edgar Degas made ideal companions to the scenes described in The Painter of Modern Life by Charles Baudelaire.

Raymond, NYC by Wardell Milan
4.5″x3.5″; collage on paper; 2023. Courtesy of the artist and Galleria Lorcan O’Neill.

Spellbound by psychoanalysis, the Surrealists developed entire narratives around sexualised parts of the human body. In more recent years, the fragmented body has assumed transgressive forms in the work of artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Robert Gober, Cindy Sherman, and Kiki Smith.

“Fragmented Bodies” looks at this tradition with fresh eyes, responding to some pressing issues of our time: from the politics of representation to the debates concerning the female gaze and queer and black identities.

(text adapted from material provided by the gallery)


Galleria Lorcan O’Neill
Vicolo dei Catinari 3
00186 Rome, Italy
+39 (0)6 6889 2980   

Tuesday-Saturday, 11AM-7PM