Healing, Knowing, Seeing the Body


The human body has the potential to serve as a universal point of connection. The feats it can achieve, the wonder it can inspire, and the pain it can endure offer possibilities for uniting us through shared experience. Yet, the body is also individual and intimate, shaped both by cultural context and personal circumstance. It serves as a site of violence and debate, providing visible ways to identify and label difference that can lead to widespread injustice. This exhibition emphasizes the unique and profound contributions artists have made toward understanding the human body in all of its complexities and contradictions. 

Our bodies always matter, but they take on an extra layer of relevance right now. As conversations around global health and systemic racism swirl in a divisive political context, this exhibition encourages you to celebrate your unique body and the experiences it holds. It invites you to feel connected to other bodies through time and across space, and to reflect on how we can care for and offer community to one another through art.


addresses broad topics such as cross-cultural perspectives on illness, aging, and death


reveals the roles that art can play in expanding knowledge about the body


highlights the new forms of understanding we generate by observing and visualizing

This exhibition is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission, Mid-America Arts Alliance, the International Artist-in-Residence Fund, the Linda Inman Bailey Exhibitions Fund, Anne and Charles Rhoades, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, KU Student Senate, KU Research Investment Council, Spencer Museum of Art Marilyn Stokstad Directorship Fund, Olin K. and Mary Ruth Petefish Museum of Art Fund, Mary P. Lipman Children’s Education Fund, the Judith M. Cooke Native American Art Fund, and the Friends of the Art Museum. Ingrid Bachmann received individual support from Canada Council for the commission Embrace.