Spreading fear and mayhem in the visual arts.

"Memories of the Future - The Olbricht Collection" at Maison Rouge, Paris

by Suzanne on November 4th, 2011

Sex I by Jake and Dinos Chapman, 2003, painted bronze, 246 x 244 x 125 cm, courtesy Olbricht Collection, see my detail of the sculpture here - click to enlarge

There's those types of collectors who simply got it all: The Dürer, Schongauer and Goya engravings, the Chapman Bros and Berlinde de Bruyckere sculptures, the cabinet de curiosités, basically, the most drool-worthy art from the 16th century to dato.

Such a person is Thomas Olbricht - a medical doctor and totally compulsive art collector from Essen.

His modern art segment alone includes artists such as Glenn Brown, Maurizio Cattelan, Mat Collishaw, John Currin, Nathalie Djurberg, Marlène Dumas, Katharina Fritsch, Julie Heffernan, Ron Mueck, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Patricia Piccinini, Pierre et Gilles, Floria Sigismondi, Kiki Smith and Sam Taylor-Wood.

But yeah, you guessed it, I could go on forever and ever. DAYUM.

Anyways, for the first time ever, a fantastic chunk of some 150 works of his collection is traveling to France to go on show at the phenomenal Maison Rouge in Paris that I reported about back in March when they had the tasty Tous Cannibales exhibition there.

Olbricht's Memories of the Future opened in late October and will remain on show until mid-January of 2012. All details below.

Elements from the Wunderkammer © me Collectors Room Berlin, Photo Bernd Borchardt, courtesy Olbricht Collection - click to enlarge

On show: Oct 22, 2011 - Jan 15, 2012

Address: La Maison Rouge, 10 Boulevard de la Bastille, 75012 Paris, France, tel: +33(0) 1 40 01 08 81 | Map

Hours: Wed - Sun: 11 AM - 7 PM, late-night Thu until 9 PM

Admission: €7

Press kit | Petit journal

Catalogue: Published in French and English with colour illustrations, €25.

WurzelForum discussion

Jake or Dinos Chapman at both White Cube galleries, London

by Suzanne on July 20th, 2011

© Jake & Dinos Chapman, photograph by Tony Kyriacou/Rex Features, courtesy of The Guardian, 2011

[I guess readers have been wondering why I haven't expressed my take on the Chapman Bros' new show yet. Thing is, I haven't even SEEN it yet and the White Cube - having imposed super strict image rules for the double feature - has completely failed to supply me with the login to the press section, so I finally decided to just lift the images off the Guardian.]

One of the few genuinely pleasant things about living in the stink patch that is London is that - although the average annual exhibition schedule is often horrendously boring - there is always bliss in knowing that sooner or later another big Chapman Bros show will hit the White Cube.

And thank fuck, it happened again last Friday. For Jake Or Dinos Chapman, the brothers have been working on their own with their entourages of assistants to form two individual exhibitions - one held at White Cube Mason's Yard and the other one at the Cube's Hoxton Square premises.

The reviews are pretty much unisono good, strangely enough, far from raving though, but interesting to see that no-one really gives a shit about swastikas, iron crosses and Totenköpfe in art when it's the Chapmans. Neither do I. It's difficult to dislike the brothers and as YBA as they are at times, they have an uncanny sense for devilish detailing and comic timing - something that never comes out in press photographs. So if you've never been to a Chapman Bros show, don't even begin to argue with me.

© Jake & Dinos Chapman, photograph by Tony Kyriacou/Rex Features, courtesy of The Guardian, 2011

If I disagree with the arts press on one thing, it's the often raised issue of how oh-so politically clever their installations are. They really aren't. If the pair does get politically active, it's very honest, very down-to-earth, positivistic educational Realpolitik as their almost heart-warming recent Can't Pay Your Fees? We Pay Your Bills! initiative illustrated.

So let's be honest, their installations are actually rather repetitive and banal or maybe people don't really know all that much about politics and their minds are easily flattered by an allusion to something seemingly profound. But does that even matter? No, absolutely not. Their work is exhilarating in its repetitiveness, there is lots of anal in their banal, it's so totally wrong it's way past right and just really wrong again, it is indeed Insult to Injury, to quote one of their earlier shows. Their oeuvre is, simply put, way too metal for one hand. \mm/

When I visited Fucking Hell three years ago (in a time when photographing their work was still okay with White Cube Mason's Yard), I took pictures of the buildings with my zoom and only later discovered some of the intricate details INSIDE the miniature churches, factories, torture chambers, prisons of Fucking Hell. And that's PRECISELY why I love Jake & Dinos. The Chapmans don't just allude to and play with gore, sadism, facism, no, they really actually deliver these things in a grotesquely giddy folly - they put the sun in Endlösung. (Okay, okay, enough with the excruciating wordplays already.)

And that's all before even beginning to analyse the eloquent depths of their humour as Fucking Hell was produced after Hell melted in the Big Saatchi Warehouse Fire (one of my earliest blog posts after moving the domain). It's easy to imagine them shouting "FUCKING HELL!" when they got a phone call about it. The decision to rebuild the thing - better, stronger, more apocalyptic, more offensive than ever - didn't take them long. In a NYT feature from July 2004, Jake declared:

''We'll make it again. It's only art.''

On show: Jul 15 - Sep 17, 2011

Address: White Cube, Hoxton Square and Mason's Yard, London, UK, tel: +44 (0)20 7930 5373, email: enquiries@whitecube.com

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 10 AM - 6 PM

Dinos not Jake interview | Jake not Dinos interview | Guardian preview

Publications: Jake will publish his third novel titled INTROSPASTIC: From the Blackened Beyond. Dinos will produce a publication of 22 drawings titled They Teach Us Nothing¹.

Artists' website

WurzelForum discussion

¹ ... and here's what they look like:

Also, a great interview with the brothers conducted by CraneTV:

Hell. Revisited.

by Suzanne on May 30th, 2008

Fucking Hell by Jake & Dinos Chapman (detail) | Photo by Ben Gurr/The Times

After the Brownlee Brothers and the Brothers Grimm, Jake ("You couldn't fail to see something funny about Hell being on fire") & Dinos Chapman are my favourite creative brothers.

Now that their infamous Hell project (Wurzeltod® posted about its destruction here) has been restored, the masters of hilarious exhibition titles present Fucking Hell and If Hitler Had Been a Hippy How Happy Would We Be as a double feature at London's White Cube.

The Hell installation features alongside naively picturesque paintings by, yes, Hitler which the Chapman Bros bought anonymously and - similar to their treatment of Goya's war etchings - "improved" with big rainbows and much candy-coloured happiness. Weeeeee!

The press preview was only yesterday and UK media is already obsessed with it - as you can see in the little press section below.

Fucking Hell by Jake & Dinos Chapman (detail) | Photo by Ben Gurr/The Times

On show: May 30 - July 12, 2008

Address: White Cube, 25-26 Mason’s Yard (Off Duke Street), St. James’s, London, SW1Y 6BU, tel: +44 (0) 20 7930 5373 | Map

Preview works | Times slideshow | Guardian slideshow

WurzelForum thread | WurzelFlickr photos



Jake and Dinos Chapman go to work on 'abject' Hitler art (by Ben Hoyle for Times Online)

Hitler gets Chapman treatment as Hell rises from the ashes (by Mark Brown for Guardian Arts)

Is the Chapmans' Hitler stunt simply a bit silly? (by Zoe Williams for Guardian Blogs)

The art of Adolf Hitler - with a little help from the Chapman brothers (by Arifa Akbar for The Independent)

Hell is first great work of the 21st century (by Brian Sewell for This is London)

Your Help Needed!

by Suzanne G. on September 22nd, 2004

© Jake & Dinos Chapman
(click on thumbnails for detailed view)

Jake & Dinos Chapman's "Insult to Injury" etchings (après Francisco de Goya's "Disasters of War") are currently exhibited at Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg, Germany.

I've been searching the web for high resolution pictures of the series, but sadly, I wasn't very successful (c.f. pictures above).

I'd be very grateful if anyone who owns an exhibition catalogue or a Chapman monograph, could email me further infos or even scans of the reworked Goya etchings.

Thank you very much in advance!

Hell. Redux.

by Suzanne G. on May 30th, 2004

© Dinos & Jake Chapman
(click on thumbnails to enlarge)

Well, fine then! There's a reason why I haven't blogged this yet:
I couldn't care less about the Charles Fucking Saatchi Imperium and the ever hyped BritArts. But I do care about The Chapman Bros' artworks. And, honestly speaking, the best thing that could possibly happen to stress the importance of an installation such as "Hell" is... A FIRE!

Let's face it, that was the best meta-destructive performance of an artwork ever! The artwork itself created its own hell and destruction and thus fulfilled its sole mission.

→ UPDATE, 07-22-2004: NYT article on the Chapman Bros' new "Hell" project