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Social Work

Helen Chadwick

Helen Chadwick, Los Nymphos, 1987. Courtesy: The Estate of the Artist and Richard Saltoun Gallery, London

Helen Chadwick, Los Nymphos, 1987. Courtesy: The Estate of the Artist and Richard Saltoun Gallery, London

Helen Chadwick is one of the most influential figures in British art: her multi-disciplinary practice capturing the zeitgeist of 1980s Britain. Chadwick’s works are as repulsive as they are beautiful; combining unconventional, often vile, materials to create installations, sculptures and photographs which challenge conventions of beauty, gender and sexuality.

Richard Saltoun presents key works encapsulating her brief but rich practice. Starting with In the Kitchen (1977), a photographic series showing Chadwick dressed and performing as kitchen appliances – fridge, oven, washing machine – to the iconic Loop My Loop (1991), a still life of golden locks of hair entwined around fleshy intestines, each of the works will illustrate her ability to shock the viewer. Whether confronting and satirising the expectation of woman as “domestic goddess” or reconfiguring the baroque still life, this presentation will reinstate her position as one of the most influential feminist artists of the 20th Century.

Helen Chadwick (b. 1953, London – 1996, London) had a career tragically cut short by her death aged 42. In the 90s, she taught the YBAs, having a huge influence on them. In 1987 she was one of the first women artists nominated for the Turner Prize. She had solo exhibitions at Serpentine Gallery, London (1994) and MoMA, NY (1995).