Huguette Caland, Tate St Ives, review: joy of sex loses its rosy intimacy

Detail from Huguette Caland's 1973 painting Bribes de corps
Detail from Huguette Caland's 1973 painting Bribes de corps

The Lebanese artist Huguette Caland, now in her eighties, started out during the cultural renaissance known as Beirut’s “golden age”. This is going back a while – to the Sixties, before the civil war (1975-90), and the optimism of a newly independent Lebanon, of which Caland’s father, Bechara El Khoury, happened to be the first president. 

Having married young, Caland three children and, as they say in high-society, “took” a lover. Then, in 1964, she enrolled on a fine art course at the American University Beirut. Radical ideas were in the air at the time (the American artist Mary Kelly, future trailblazer of feminist conceptualism, was teaching there, though there’s no mention of them meeting)...

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