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My Giant Colouring Book - Jake & Dinos Chapman

December 20, 2012 by Kay

Norwich University College of the Arts

4 December 2012 - 12 January 2013

A Hayward Touring exhibition from Southbank Centre, London

NUCA continues its Autumn-Winter Season by welcoming this Hayward Touring exhibition of etchings by Jake and Dinos Chapman. The Chapman brothers first came to prominence as part of the YBA movement of the 1990s. They 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 returns 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 far removed from the original dot formations. This series of 21 etchings, published by The Paragon Press, London in 2004, offers a fascinating introduction to the imaginations of two of Britain's most inventive and subversive artists.

Many of the Chapmans' favourite themes are found here, 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 commented "(they) are about how wrong you could make an image".