18 October – 3 December 2005
Who would want to paint you when no one wants to look at you?' says an old epigrammatist to a misshapen man. Many a modern artist would say, 'No matter how misshapen you are, I will paint you. Though people may not like to look at you, they will be glad to look at my picture: not as a portrait of you, but as a proof of my skill in making so close a copy of such a monster.' Gotthold Lessing. Laocoon, On the Limitations of Painting and Poetry (1766)
White Cube presened Jake and Dinos Chapman's Like a dog returns to its vomit – the complete corpus of revised etchings which may or may not contain puppy dogs, stray kittens, pretty flowers, fluffy clouds, face painters, sword swallowers, mime artists, magicians, enchanted forests, circus clowns, kites, flags, air balloons, Care Bears, Exquisite Corpse, butterflies, snowflakes, teddy bears, candyfloss, sweets and cakes, policemen, milk chocolate, my little ponies, rescue donkeys, Jack-in-the-box, bunny rabbits, honey bees, ladybirds, caterpillars, dragon flies, men in the moon, ballerinas, Gigantic Fun, flying fish, blowing bubbles, If You Eat Meat Digest This, monkeys, brave knights and fair maidens, squirrels, bear cubs, jugglers, felt-tips, owls, doves, palm trees, mice, ducks, Little Red Riding Hood, swans, feathers, hopscotch, beach balls, rope, trees, elephants, sunbeams, crystal balls, Big Dippers, skipping ropes, diamonds, Disasters of War, playtime, pantomime, storks, glass beads, Bambi, dressing up, toffee-apples, paddling pools, Pin the tale on the donkey, jelly and ice cream, Lego, seashells, buckets and spades, porky pig, mushrooms, birthdays, train sets, My Giant Colouring Book, zoos, Beauty and the Beast, helter skelters, church, popcorn, cowboys and Indians, toadstools, I-spy, jokes, gnomes, Hoola-Hoops, hedgehogs and badger cubs, silk ribbons, Martians, glitter, paper hats, Sheep in Wolf's Clothing, dolly mixture, fireworks, desert islands, hide and seek, scarecrows, Simon says, mummies and daddies, doctors and nurses, Wendy Houses, windmills, Fuzzy-felt, Love hearts, puppets, starfish, robots, merry-go-rounds, dot-to-dot, Etchasketchathon, fairies, goblins, colouring books, princes and princesses, dolphins, seahorses, comets, penguins, cotton wool, seal pups, rainbows, falling stars, pirate's treasure, leprechauns, sand castles, children's television, mermaids, haunted houses, space dust, pixies, black holes, elves, Santa Claus, angels, egg-and-spoon-race, Chapman Family Collection drawings, lollipops, aliens, Woolworths, cartoons, pillow fights, kiss chase, Christmas, steam engines, slush-puppies, blind man's bluff, snap-crackle-and-pop, cuckoo clocks, ventriloquist dummies. In short, Like a Dog returns to its vomit is an overdue autopsy waiting to belch into the arms of anyone with love in their eyes…
The Chapman brothers live and work in London. Since 1996 they have exhibited extensively including solo exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London, Groninger Museum, The Netherlands, Museum Kunst Palast, Dusseldorf, CAC Malaga, Dunkers Kulturhus, Sweden and earlier this year at the Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria. They were short-listed for the Turner Prize at Tate Britain, London and were robbed. Recent exhibitions include a survey show at Tate Liverpool (2006) and the Tate Britain Duveen Commission (2007).
A fully illustrated catalogue, with an essay by Simon Baker accompanied the exhibition.