Tag Archives: Dead Dad

Ron Mueck / Andy Hope, Hauser and Wirth, review

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Mark Hudson reviews four new sculptures by YBA realist Ron Mueck (three stars), and the first solo exhibition of young German artist Andy Hope (two stars) at Hauser and Wirth.

Ron Mueck sprang to prominence via Dead Dad, his father’s pallid, naked corpse recreated in silicone, with every last micro-blade of stubble rendered in unnerving hyper-real detail. What made the piece particularly disconcerting was the fact that it was, at 3ft, roughly half life-size; the sense of looking at an old man’s body on the scale of a small child’s inducing mixed feelings of vulnerability, compassion and a kind of shamed revulsion.

Seen alongside Damien Hirst’s dead shark in Sensation, the exhibition that launched the YBA generation amid an orgy of publicity in 1997, Dead Dad felt all of a piece with that group’s preoccupation with mortality and macabre spectacle.

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