British artist Helen Chadwick was known for her innovative photography and installations. Her death in 1996 cut short a brilliant career, but her influence still resonates with the work of the YBAs and other contemporary artists.
Published on the occasion of Helen Chadwick: Bad Blooms at Richard Saltoun Gallery, London (14 October–28 November 2014), this volume re-examines perhaps her most iconic series, Wreaths to Pleasure (1992–93). Consisting of 13 colour photographs of organic matter within household fluids, each is set within its own uniquely coloured steel frame.
Illustrated in full colour, each work is accompanied by historical and posthumous installation images. A survey text by Sophie Raikes describes the inspiration, process, and creation of the Wreaths to Pleasure, alongside a foreword by David Notarius and Marina Warner’s funerary speech.
Published by Hatje Cantz. Edited by Mark Sladen. Essays by Mary Horlock and Eva Martischnig.
An artist much concerned with ideas of transience, self and identity, particularly female identity, Helen Chadwick was also noted for her controversial use of materials and subject matter. At the time of her sudden death in 1996, at the age of 42, she had attracted the attention of many feminists, writers as well as artists. Chadwick's work of the late 1970s explored her social situation in relation to the kitchen, for example, or the welfare office. In the 1980s, she concentrated more on how the female self is constructed through social and cultural structures. Later works dealt with aspects of death and decay, but always in exceptionally beautiful forms. The artist spoke of the feelings her work provoked as being “gorgeously repulsive, exquisitely fun, dangerously beautiful.” This monograph, the first comprehensive survey of Chadwick's work, will include many of her most famous photographs, sculptures and installations: Viral Landscapes, photographic works featuring cells taken from the artist's body, Piss Flowers, sculptures made by casting the holes left by a man and woman urinating in the snow, and “Cacao,” a fountain of hot bubbling chocolate.