Michael Landy was born in London in 1963. He studied at Loughton College of Art (1979-1981), Loughborough College of Art (1981-1983) and Goldsmiths College, London (1985-1988). In 2006 he was awarded a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Visual Artists.
Through the 1990s, Landy's work included major projects such as Market, Closing Down Sale and Scrapheap Services, which explored contemporary consumerism. He is best known for the installation, Break Down, in which he made an inventory of all of his possessions, which were then systematically destroyed. Break Down was held in 2001 at a former clothes shop, C&A, on Oxford Street in London. More than 7,000 items, ranging from letters, his car, clothes and works of art, were taken apart and then shredded; the residue was buried at a landfill site. This installation was followed by a series of etchings of wild plants, Nourishment, in 2002.
Selected solo exhibitions include Michael Landy: H2NY, Alexander and Bonin, New York (2007); Welcome to My World – Built with You in Mind, Thomas Dane, London (2004); Semi-detached, Tate Britain, London (2004); Michael Landy: Nourishment, Maureen Paley/Interim Art, London (2002); Michael Landy: Break Down, C&A Store, London (2001); Scrapheap Services, Chisenhale Gallery, London (1996) and Tate Gallery, London (1995); Closing Down Sale, Karsten Schubert, London (1992); Market, Building One, London (1990).
Selected group exhibitions include Bad Behaviour, work from the Arts Council Collection, Hayward Gallery, London, Longside Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, The Hatton Gallery, University of Newcastle, Tullie House, Carlisle (2004); L'Air du Temps, Bloomberg Space, London (2003); Shopping: Art and Consumer Culture, Kunstverein, Frankfurt, Tate Liverpool (2003); Micro/Macro: British Art 1996-2002, Mucsarnok Kunsthalle, Budapest (2003); For the Record: Drawing Contemporary Life, Vancouver Art Gallery (2003); From Blast To Frieze: A Century of British Art, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Les Abattoirs, Toulouse (2003); Face/Off, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (2002); XXIV Bienal de São Paulo (2002), La Otra Britania, Centro Cultural Tecla Sala, Barcelona (2001); British Art Show 5, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Birmingham, Southampton (2000), Trace and Art Lovers, Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art (1999); Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection, Royal Academy of Arts, London, Hamburger Bahnhof-Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York (1997); Brilliant: New Art from Britain, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (1995); Here and Now, Serpentine Gallery, London (1995); You’ve Seen the Rest Now Try the Best: Keith Coventry, Michael Landy, Mark Wallinger, City Racing, London (1993); Broken English, Serpentine Gallery, London (1991); East Country Yard Show, London (1990);
Freeze, London (1989).
His work is in the public collections of the British Council, London, the Arts Council, London, the Government Art Collection, London, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
He lives and works in London.
Nigel Cooke was born in Manchester in 1973. He studied Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University (1991-1994), the Royal College of Art, London (1995-1997) and completed a PhD in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, London in 2004. He was selected for New Contemporaries in 1998.
Nigel Cooke’s paintings are epic in scale, creating fantasy hyperrealist landscape scenes of decay and disconcerting urban environments. The canvases are littered with burnt out cars, skulls, graffiti, bones, Halloween pumpkins, severed heads with staring eyes, and other motifs of the horror genre or graphic novel. However, there is a lightness of touch in the work, which brings a darkly comic feel to these unsettling scenes. In Cooke’s world inanimate objects often take on human characteristics, for example, a Halloween pumpkin yawns at the break of day while birds smoking cigarettes sit on a ragged tree stump casually watching the sunrise, or an image of a giant bone fills the canvas, which at one end becomes a smoking head, with traces of cigarette smoke drifting off into the grey sky above.
Selected solo exhibitions include Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2007); A Portrait of Everything, South London Gallery, London, Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York (2006); Modern Art, London (2005); Art Now, Tate Britain, London, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York (2004); Modern Art, London (2002); Nigel Cooke, Chapman Fine Arts, London (2000).
Selected group exhibitions include Summer Exhibition, Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London (2006); New Trajectories I: Relocations, curated from the Ovitz Family Collection, Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, Portland, Oregon (2006); George Condo and Nigel Cooke, Blum and Poe, Los Angeles (2005); Chambres à Part, Sezz Hotel, Paris (2005); Interested Painting, Gallery 400, University of Illinois, Chicago (2005); Strata - Difference and Repetition, Fondazione Davide Halevim, Milan (2005); Monument to Now, The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens (2004); Edge of the Real, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2004); Sodium and Asphalt: Contemporary British Art in Mexico, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City (2004); Works on Paper, Jack Hanley Gallery, San Francisco (2003); I See a Darkness, Blum and Poe, Los Angeles (2003); Dirty Pictures, The Approach, London (2003); Still Life, The British Council (2002); Tattoo Show, Modern Art, London (2001); A Sport and a Pastime, Greene Naftali Inc., New York (2001); Homage to the Budokan, Foyles Gallery, London (2000); Wooden Heart, Avco, London (2000); Glory, British Council Window Gallery, Prague (1999); New Contemporaries 1998, Camden Arts Centre, London and tour (1998); Interesting Painting, City Racing, London (1997).
His work is in the public collections of Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; UCL Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; British Council, London; Tate Gallery, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Honart Museum, Tehran; The Dakis Joannou Collection Foundation, Athens; Sammlung Goetz Collection, Munich.
He lives and works in London.
Linda Norden is an American curator, writer and art historian. From 1998 to 2006 she was the first Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, MA. Prior to this appointment she was Assistant Professor in Art History (1994-1998) and Marieluise Black Research Fellow (1992-1994) at the Center for Curatorial Studies and Contemporary Culture at Bard College, and Visiting Professor in Art History (1994-1995) at Bard Graduate Center, New York. She has also held posts at Columbia University School of the Arts, International Associates for Contemporary Art, Columbia University, Timken Publishers, Inc. Fine Arts Press, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Columbia University Teachers College, Department of Art and Education, New York.
Selected curated exhibitions include Pedro Reyes: Codex/Ad Usum, David Rockefeller Center for the Study of Latin American Art, Harvard University (2006); Nominally Figured, Harvard University Art Museums (2006-2007); Sharon Lockhart: Pine Flat, Sala Rekalde, Bilbao, Spain (2005), Walker Art Center (2006), Harvard University Art Museums (2006); Quantum Grids: Sol LeWitt, Yayoi Kusama, Cai Guo-Qiang and Fred Thomaselli, Sert Gallery, Harvard University Art Museums (2005-2006); Ed Ruscha: Course of Empire, Venice Biennale and Whitney Museum of American Art (2005-2006). Huyghe + Corbusier, Harvard University Art Museums (2004-2005); Romancing the Wreck/Looking Away: Tacita Dean, Chris Marker, Cai Guo-Qiang, Alexander Sokorov, Fiona Tan, HC Westermann, Harvard University Art Museums (2003); Some Chromes: Lynda Benglis, Rudolf de Crignis, Roni Horn, Jim Jarmusch, Sol Le Witt, Morris Louis, Joseph Marioni, Richard Tuttle, Harvard University Art Museums (2002-2003); Extreme Connoisseurship, Harvard University Art Museums (2001-2002); John Wesley: Love’s Lust, Harvard University Art Museums (2001); Landmark Pictures: Ed Ruscha, Andreas Gursky, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Busch Reisinger Museum and Harvard University Art Museums (2000); Chuck and Agnes: A study installation Chuck Close and Agnes Martin, Harvard University Art Museums (1999).
She has written on Cy Twombly, Ed Ruscha, Andreas Gursky, Claus Oldenburg, Eva Hesse, Lucy Lippard, Roni Horn, Terry Winters, Robert Ryman, and Dale Chihuly.
Linda Norden is currently curating Equal, That is, to the Real Itself, a group show featuring Ilisa Barbash/Lucien Taylor, Rudolf de Crignis, John Gerrard, David Hammons, Roni Horn, Pierre Huyghe, Chris Marker, Steve McQueen, Bruce Nauman, Bridget Riley, Ed Ruscha, Leslie Thornton, John Wesley, and HC Westermann for Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, (June-July 2007). She is an advisor for the 2008 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and writing a review for Artforum on the Robert Gober retrospective at the Schaulager in Basel. She will also be contributing an essay (with Scott Rothkopf) to the Phaidon monograph on Pierre Huyghe on This is Not a Time for Dreaming (2004), the project which they co-curated for the Harvard University Art Museums.