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Bruce McLean

A Lawnmower in the Loft

Series: Book Launch
Date: Tuesday 28 November 2017
Time: 18:30
Venue: Lecture Hall

Sculptor Bruce McLean presents his first collection of stories that have contributed to the invention of his life as an artist. Both funny (ha ha) and funny (peculiar), this (non) po-faced history of art and comedy of (ill) manners presents a compelling soundtrack of human behaviour, gesture politik and inherited tics and traits.


There is much food and drink, some good, some…not so much. Artists and critics make guest appearances (and a few no shows) as do the bouffant, lynchpins, a giant stuffed parrot, a theatrical agent, and the familiar McLeanian trope of the coal bunker. The co-originator of Nice Style: The World’s First Pose Band, describes early sculptural performance works unwittingly enacted by his parents in the pursuit of excellence, and all things convivial and particular.


The painfully funny rigmarole of arrangements is exemplified by ‘Lawnmower in the Loft’ a wonderful example of what architect Cedric Price described as ‘…necessary repetition for the wilfully inattentive’.


Bruce McLean (born 1944) is a Scottish sculptor, performance artist and painter. McLean was born in Glasgow and studied at Glasgow School of Art from 1961 to 1963, and at Saint Martin's School of Art, London, from 1963 to 1966. In 1965 he abandoned conventional studio production in favour of impermanent sculptures using materials such as water, along with performances of a generally satirical nature directed against the art world. When in 1972 he was offered an exhibition at the Tate Gallery, he opted for a 'retrospective' he titled "King for a Day" which lasted only one day. From the mid 1970s, while continuing to mount occasional performances, McLean has turned increasingly to painting/sculpture and film work. In 1985, McLean won the John Moores Painting Prize. Since retiring from his professorship of painting at the Slade School of Art, he has taken on a large studio in west London where he has been making increasingly large paintings and sculptural film works.



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