Grand National offers an alternative perspective to the British artworld of the last thirty years through the work of a handful of the artists most integral to it. It locates in the shifting politics of the 2010 British election and the shadow of financial failure a timely vantage from which to look from the here-and-now to the abrasive and divisive politics of the late 1980s and the biting recession of the early 1990s; the rubble from which a new British art emerged. Grand National turns to the peripheries and antidotes of this fervent, sensationalist and celebrated generation to track, through Punk, New Wave Cinema, and early modernism, the social, aesthetic, and historical contexts that drove this resistance and that further underpin an evolving contemporary art scene.
“…Grand National will appear as a partial survey of a time in British art where there was inflation then a crash in values, not least in cultural value. Artistic worth, it seemed, ran second to the promotion of personalities, and an uneasy co-dependency of the art establishment, the art industry, the press and a young band of artists who would first exploit an unstable market, then embark on a mutually beneficial reconstruction of the status quo. To look from our own recession to the last one is to pinpoint a brief moment when art was the simulacrum of a movement that bucked the market, before becoming it...”
- Chris Horrocks
Artists represented include: BANK, Glenn Brown, Marcus Coates, Keith Coventry, Shezad Dawood, Jeremy Deller, Douglas Gordon, Paul Graham, Derek Jarman, Isaac Julien, Cornelia Parker and Rebecca Warren.
Includes texts by Iain Aitch, Patricia Bickers, Charles Harrison, Chris Horrocks, Kjetil Røed, Dr Alicia Foster, Neil Mulholland and Peter Wollen.
Published by Self Published, 352 pgs, 27.5 × 21 cm, Softcover, 2010, 978899834209