Helen Chadwick British, 1953-1996

British conceptual artist Helen Chadwick embraced the sensuous aspects of the natural world, breaking taboos of the 'normal' and 'traditional' in art historical pedagogy. Considered a 'mother' to the YBAs through her teaching posts at the Royal College of Art, Chelsea School of Art and the London Institute, her experiments with material were innovative and unconventional and captured a world in a state of flux. Piss Flowers (1991-92), in which she cast the interior spaces left in the snow by warm urine, are at once as repulsing as they are beautiful, and it's this combination that typifies Chadwick's work: aesthetic beauty created out of an alliance of unconventional, often vile, materials.


Chadwick was one of the first women artists to be nominated for the Turner Prize in 1987. Important solo exhibitions include 'Wreaths to Pleasure', Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK (2012); 'Helen Chadwick: A Retrospective', Barbican Art Gallery, London, UK (2004), which travelled to the Manchester City Art Gallery, Manchester, UK; Kunstmuseet Trapholt, Kolding, Denmark and Liljevalch Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden; and 'Bad Blooms', Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (1995), which travelled to Norrköpings Konstmuseum, Norrköpings, Sweden; Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN; and Uppsala Konstmuseum, Uppsala, Sweden. Chadwick's 1986 exhibition 'Of Mutability', which opened at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, is considered a seminal point in the breakthrough of the YBA movement. Chadwick's work is included in the Arts Council Collection; British Council Collection; Tate Collection; National Portrait Gallery; Victoria & Albert Museum and MoMA, NY, amongst many others.