This summer we welcome leading British artist and YBA (Young British Artist) Marcus Harvey to the gallery for his largest UK public gallery exhibition to date.
Inselaffe, centres around Harvey’s most recent paintings, ceramics and bronze sculptures which forge motifs and emblems of Britishness, such as military memorabilia and joke shop knick-knacks into collaged portraits of historical figures – from Nelson to Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair.
‘Inselaffe’ is a German word meaning ‘Island Monkey’ and is used, perhaps derogatively but mostly light heartedly, to describe the people of England. It derives from a tongue in cheek theory that evolution must have stalled in the UK.
This exhibition features tough but humorous sculpture, unapologetic and brash, political yet ambiguous, considered yet painterly, and reflects on Harvey’s concerns of national identity and masculinity – “It is partly to wrest something from the all-pervading guilt over colonial misdemeanours and also in part to ironize an overly romantic valuation of the past. The sentiment seems to be in equal measure irony and affection.”
An exhibition catalogue is available to purchase for £5.50 from the gallery shop or online.
Main image: Marcus Harvey, Contre Jour, 2016 (detail) © the artist.