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Chapman brothers join-the-dots in Norwich exhibition

PUBLISHED: 09:38 07 December 2012 | UPDATED: 09:49 07 December 2012

Images from My Giant Colouring Book, Jake and Dinos Chapman

Images from My Giant Colouring Book, Jake and Dinos Chapman

Archant

They’re the bad boy siblings of the modern art scene and now Norwich is playing host to an exhibition of etchings by Jake and Dinos Chapman in which they bring their subversive imaginations to work on a kids join-the-dots book.

The Chapman brothers first came to prominence as part of the YBA movement of the 1990s and featured in the Royal Academy’s seminal 1997 exhibition Sensation, showing a sculptural version of Goya’s disasters of war. They returned to Goya’s work in 2003 when they caused outrage for painting their own ghoulish imagery over an original set of etchings.

My Giant Colouring Book, a Hayward Touring show that is now on display the Norwich University College of the Arts, sees the pair return to this method of working, this time appropriating join-the-dot drawings from a children’s picture book.

The naive innocence of the illustrations triggers a wild outpouring of fantastical imagery. Many of the Chapmans’ favourite themes are found here. Monstrous creatures and hallucinatory scenes emerge, bristling with grotesque humour. The subjects include sabre-toothed owls, psychedelic grinning cats and bears trapped in the belly of the Loch Ness monster.

The series offers a fascinating introduction to the imaginations of two of Britain’s most inventive and subversive artists.

The naive innocence of the illustrations triggers a wild outpouring of fantastical imagery far removed from the original dot formations.

The series of 21 etchings offers a fascinating introduction to the imaginations of two of Britain’s most inventive and subversive artists.

Many of the Chapmans’ favourite themes are to be found, often with a dark undercurrent.

Monstrous creatures and hallucinatory scenes emerge, bristling with grotesque humour, and rich in allusions to art history: from medieval images of hell and damnation to surrealism and abstract expressionism.

The subjects include sabre-toothed owls, psychedelic grinning cats and bears trapped in the belly of the Loch Ness monster. In describing the series, Dinos Chapman remarks: “[They] are about how wrong you could make an image.”

t Jake and Dinos Chapman, The Gallery, NUCA, St George’s Street, Norwich, December 4-January 12, Tues-Sat 12pm-5pm, admission free, 01603 756247, www.nuca.ac.uk/thegallery

www.jakeanddinoschapman.com

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