Masters of illusion, Chadwick & Spector, present their Museum Anatomy photos and wall reliefs from Germany, on display for the first time at Harambee Gallery at Houston’s City Hall. October 26, 2017 through January 11, 2018. The opening reception is October 26, from 6:00pm – 8:30pm, and is free to the public.
Collaborative artists Chadwick & Spector (Chadwick Gray and Laura Spector) have spent twenty years traveling the world in search of hidden and damaged paintings, many existing in museum storage facilities. Together, they re-imagine the lost images onto contorted nude bodies.
Recently, their focus has been reinterpreting paintings that were stolen by Nazis during World War II. Their upcoming show is a collaboration with the Johann Friedrich Danniell Museum in Salzwedel, Germany.
Museum Anatomy has been created in conjunction with museums in fourteen countries. The artwork meshes together pre-19th century painting and contemporary art. Germany agreed to work with the artists after the recent U.S. presidential election, stating, “It is an important reminder of what can happen if culture comes under attack by a dictator.”
After selecting a painting to work from, the artists render an original work of art inspired by the the historical painting using the human body as a canvas. The process takes anywhere from 6 to 12 hours. The ephemeral paintings are then documented through photography.
This is the first time the artists have used models outside of their duo collaboration. “Our work allows us to feel like we can transcend time and space. A missing painting that depicts a specific time or event was stolen by Nazis and allows us to reinterpret history to become a more accurate tapestry reflecting the needs of our diverse community today. We’re taking a war crime and turning it into something thoughtful and positive.”
This project is funded by Individual Artists’ Grants from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance and by The Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant.