Press Release

Jake and Dinos Chapman: Bad Art for Bad People

Tate Liverpool  Fourth floor galleries
15 December 2006 – 4 March 2007

Jake and Dinos Chapman (born in 1962 and 1966 respectively) are among the most significant and best-known contemporary British artists working today, having risen to prominence with the so-called Young British Artist generation of the 1990s. This exhibition at Tate Liverpool will be the first full-scale, mid-career survey of the Chapmans’ art and will include important works from all phases of their career. The Chapman brothers will be creating new work specially for the exhibition, that will sit alongside key works such as Disasters of War 1993, Great Deeds Against the Dead 1994, Fuck Face 1994, Zygotic acceleration, biogenetic de-sublimated libidinal model (enlarged x 100) 1995, The Chapman Family Collection 2002, Sex 2003 and Death 2004, Injury to Insult to Injury 2004, Hell Sixty-Five Million Years BC 2004/5 and Like a Dog Returns to its Vomit 2005. The exhibition will present a body of work that is complex, intelligent and spectacular, combining influences from philosophy, psychoanalysis, art history and popular culture.

Jake and Dinos Chapman both graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1990 and began collaborating soon afterwards. Since then they have created a rich and provocative body of work through which they have addressed controversial issues. While it has often been the apparently inflammatory character and subject matter of their work that has attracted media attention and challenged the boundaries of taste, any superficial reading belies a genuinely serious and profound engagement with questions of contemporary morality. The exhibition will present a systematic review of their work to date, carefully re-evaluating and contextualising their art without denying its potential to raise difficult questions.

The Chapman brothers first received critical praise with Disasters of War 1993, a sculptural project comprising 83 miniatures that reworked Goya’s epic series of etchings Desastres de la Guerra 1810-20, the first instance of an ongoing dialogue with Goya’s work. They gained further notoriety with subsequent sculptures created from life-size mannequins, exploring themes of violence, innocence, hypocrisy, science and sex. These include Great Deeds Against the Dead 1994, a reconstruction of Goya’s etching (of the same title) depicting three mutilated soldiers hung from a tree, and Zygotic acceleration, biogenetic de-sublimated libidinal model (enlarged x 100) 1995, a group of manipulated child mannequins whose misplaced genitals replace other orifices and whose bodies are fused together. More recently the Chapmans have created works such as The Chapman Family Collection 2002, a collection of faux-ethnographic sculptures that incorporate logos and symbols from the fast food chain McDonalds. The work both highlights and parodies the role of multinationals and global capitalism for their cultural imperialism. In addition to their sculptural and installation work, which has formed the core of their practice, the Chapmans have created an exceptional body of graphic work, predominantly drawing and printmaking, as well as paintings, wall paintings, photography and videos. In 2003 they were nominated for the Turner Prize.