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Brothers Jake and Dinos Chapman have been a vital, if controversial force in British art of the 1990s. Disasters of War was their first major collaborative project. It is characteristic of their confrontational and visceral approach to themes such as death, violence and sexuality. Gruesomely detailed, it is a three-dimensional reworking of Disasters of War,1810-13, a portfolio of etchings by Spanish artist, Francisco Goya (1746-1828). The toy-like scale of the Chapmans' work at first appears to undermine the epic notion of war, yet in fact gives a strange intensity to the horrors of battle.

The Tate Collection acquired this work in recognition of the Chapman's importance within the generation of British artists which emerged in the 1990s.

August 2004