Friday 31 May 2013

Review of Michael Landy: Saints Alive at the National Gallery

Michael Landy: Saints Alive
National Gallery, Sunley Room
23 May – 24 November 2013

“Before we go any further, can I just make sure that you actually know who I am and that you know what I do?” This was the question with which Michael Landy (born 1963) announced himself upon arrival at the National Gallery having been invited for consideration for the Rootstein Hopkins Foundation Associate Artist scheme. A Goldsmiths graduate (1985-1988), a YBA, and a participating artist in the notorious Freeze exhibition (1988), Landy is probably best known for his 2001 installation, Break Down, for which he took over an empty department store building on Oxford Street and systematically catalogued and destroyed everything he ever owned. One might, therefore, understand his uncertainty. Nevertheless, he was appointed as the gallery’s eighth Associate Artist and accordingly given a studio for two years. 

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