Art Crazy Nation Show, Curated by Matthew Collings


19 January - 3 March 2002

Artist, broadcaster and writer Matthew Collings, most recently in the public eye as the presenter of Channel Four’s Turner Prize Award programme, has selected an exhibition for Milton Keynes Gallery this January.

Art Crazy Nation Show features the work of some of the artists included in his recently published book Art Crazy Nation: the post-Blimey! art world. For the exhibition Collings has deliberately selected work which encompasses both extremes of contemporary British art. He includes glamorous celebrity-artists such as Sarah Lucas, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Jake and Dinos Chapman, and Gilbert & George, alongside marginalised, old-style lyrical abstract painters such as John McLean, Gary Wragg and Geoff Rigden.

He says of its content: “The works in this show are very different to one another. Some are more aesthetic. Some are more poetic. But with all of them I think that there is a secret visual quality which is important. The nation is crazy about art now, but they don’t really know what it is that they are looking at.

Collings believes that what makes art important and worth looking at is not a single impact ‘hit’ which any idiot in the media can understand, but rather art’s depth and range of feeling. If there was a new political party for the end of art being popular, he says he would be head of it. He asks, “Why not just let something be itself?” He is profoundly sorry if he ever had anything to do with art’s current popularity.

The exhibiting artists are: Bank, Simon Bill, Merlin Carpenter, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Gilbert & George, Alan Kane, Simon Linke, Colin Lowe / Roddy Thompson, Sarah Lucas, John McLean, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Darren Phizacklea / Rory Macbeth, Geoff Rigden, John Russell + Fabienne Audéoud, Bob and Roberta Smith, Sarah Staton, Gary Wragg.

Visitors will be able to see work in a variety of media including painting, sculpture and installation

Press Release