British Chapman brothers at Arter

British Chapman brothers at Arter

British Chapman brothers at Arter Istanbul’s Arter Gallery is presenting the first solo exhibition in Turkey by the British visual artists Jake and Dinos Chapman, known as the Chapmans, titled “In the Realm of the Senseless.” 

Curated by Nick Hackworth, the exhibition brings together a number of works from iconic series including “Hell,” “The Chapman Family Collection” and “One Day You Will No Longer Be Loved” alongside new and rarely seen works. 

The show presents an overview of the Chapmans’ virulently pessimistic art and thought. Deploying humor and a perverse semiotics to undercut and satirize many of the unthinking beliefs that animate contemporary culture, the Chapmans’ is among the most challenging of contemporary art practices.

The exhibition begins in spectacular fashion by uniting more works than have ever been shown together before from the “Hell” series, including the major piece, “The Sum of All Evil.” 

Arter’s first floor amounts to a pastiche of the idea of retrospective shows with its centerpiece “Shitrospective” and the duo’s first ever neon work, a new iteration of the brothers’ first collaborative piece “We Are Artists,” which was made in 1991. 

In addition, a collection of archival works from 1971 to 2013, including some rare Chapman juvenilia, will also be presented.

Taking its cue from the Chapmans’ recent show “Come and See” at The Serpentine Gallery, London, the curation of the top floor of the exhibition takes aim at the idealized “white cube” gallery space and elegant, well-mannered exhibitions. Resembling a show put together from a ransacked storage room, the floor is chaotic and over-stuffed, filled with myriad 2-D and sculptural works. 

The exhibition can be visited at Arter through May 10. 

Jake and Dinos Chapman

Working together since their graduation from the Royal College of Art in 1990, the Chapmans first received critical acclaim in 1991 for a diorama sculpture entitled “Disasters of War” created out of remodeled plastic figurines enacting scenes from Goya’s “Disasters of War” etchings. 

Arguably their most ambitious work was “Hell” (1999), an immense table top tableau, peopled with over 30,000 remodeled, two-inch-high figures, many in Nazi uniform and performing egregious acts of cruelty. 

The work combined historical, religious and mythic narratives to present an apocalyptic snapshot of the 20th century. Tragically, the work was destroyed in the Momart fire in 2004, but the Chapmans responded by saying they would make another, more ambitious in scale and detail, ultimately producing “Fucking Hell” (2008).