The Lebanese painter, sculptor, and fashion designer Huguette Caland (1931–2019) is known for her erotic abstract paintings that challenge traditional conventions of beauty and desire. The female figure is a recurrent motif in her work, often appearing as mountainous or oceanic landscapes.
The Taipei Biennial 2023 features a selection of works Caland made in the 1970s, after she moved from Beirut to Paris, leaving her family behind to pursue her own practice and life. The selection of works are all self-portraits from a time when she is said to have felt liberated at last from the burden of social expectations. In her self-portraits she isolates the most intimate gestures and parts of her body and abstracts them to shapes and lines. This confuses their scales and moves away from the psychological and corporeal conditions imposed on her in Lebanon as always the daughter of someone, the wife of someone, and the mother of children.