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Details & Cataloguing

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Michael Landy, R.A.
B.1963
WE LEAVE THE SCUM NO PLACE TO HIDE
signed and dated '94'
ink on 4 separate sheets of paper, joined as one

The career of Michael Landy (b.1963) has been driven by a series of notable installations. These have included Market (1990), Closing Down Sale (1992), Scrapheap Services (1996), Break Down (2001) and H2NY (2006), all of which engendered much documentation such as drawings, photographs, publications and videos.

The present work belongs to a group of drawings made in relation to Scrapheap Services, a large-scale installation acquired by Tate in 1997. This was Landy’s most imaginative work in which he invented a waste-disposal firm with the object of cleansing society of undesirable members in a ruthlessly efficient way, while retaining a bright and sunny landscape as its visual logo and smartly uniformed workers. Thousands of cut-out figures (made from street rubbish) are swept up and fed into an alarming shredding machine called the ‘Vulture’.

The group of highly detailed ink drawings, recording the work’s evolution and fabrication, remind us in turn of an obsessive ‘mad scientist’, a child’s delight in page-filling and a medieval monk illuminating a manuscript. All combine a comic riff on advertising with mordant social satire. They are unprecedented among works on paper by Landy’s YBA contemporaries.


sheet: 118.5 by 29.5cm.; 46¾ by 11½in.
framed: 137.5 by 47.5cm.; 54¼ by 18¾in.
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Provenance

Thomas Dane, London
Karsten Schubert, London, where acquired by the present owner in 1994-5

Exhibited

London, Waddington Galleries, The Making of Scrapheap Services, 1996, un-numbered exhibition.

Made in Britain / Online

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