Mark Wallinger Where There’s Muck 1985

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Artwork details

Where There’s Muck
Date 1985
Medium Oil paint, acrylic paint, charcoal, cellulose on metal and plywood
Dimensions Unconfirmed: 3350 x 7000 mm
Acquisition Purchased with assistance from the Millwood Legacy 2009

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Created at the height of Thatcherism, this is a reworking of Gainsborough’s (1727–1788) Mr and Mrs Andrews, 1750. That portrait suggests identity and status, and can be read as a comment on property and capital. Wallinger’s jumbled fragmentation of the painting, the addition of a human scarecrow as the dominant image, and the word ‘Albion’ spray-painted over painting and wall, together contrast images of Englishness and Heritage with the anger of a dispossessed underclass. Wallinger joins a late Victorian romanticised view of Albion – the landscape of the agricultural worker – with decay and social violence.

October 2013

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