Jake and Dinos Chapman, the bad-boy duo who rose to fame as Young British Artists (YBAs) in the 1990s, have left London’s White Cube gallery after nearly 20 years to join Blain|Southern.
A spokeswoman for White Cube confirms that the gallery is no longer working with the Chapman brothers and says that this was “by mutual agreement”. “We are both proud of the work we have done collectively and wish each other the best for the future,” she adds. She says the artists’ existing relationship with Craig Burnett, who worked at White Cube for five years and joined Blain|Southern as director of exhibitions in 2016, was not a factor.
A statement from Blain|Southern says: “With their sharp wit and playful intelligence, Jake and Dinos Chapman never shy away from deflating the pieties of our age. This is yet another exciting development in the gallery’s programme.” The artists’ first exhibition with the gallery is expected to be in its London space within the next year. Blain|Southern’s founders, Harry Blain and Graham Southern have represented fellow YBA Mat Collishaw since 2007.
White Cube’s first solo show for the Chapmans was in the gallery’s space in Duke Street, Mayfair, in 1999. This showed their Disasters of War series that leans heavily on their hero, Francisco de Goya, though adapted with the contemporary artists’ versions of mutilated limbs, bodily functions and provocative text. Works from this series are currently included in the duo’s first major solo show in Turkey, which opened at the Arter private museum, Istanbul, last week (In the Realm of the Senseless, until 7 May).
White Cube’s long-standing YBA artists Gary Hume and Marc Quinn have also stopped being represented by the gallery in recent years.
In response to questions about the change in representation, Jake and Dinos Chapman gave The Art Newspaper a poem: Time for us now seem/ To pass away as/ Water under broken bridge./ So now time to move on—/ Time to break old eggs/ And make new omelette.