John Latham - Book in processed oil shale from Bing

Two books, rocks and canvas gauze, c.1976. Courtesy Lisson Gallery. Photo Stefan Handy.

John Latham - Book in processed oil shale from Bing

Two books, rocks and canvas gauze, c.1976. Courtesy Lisson Gallery. Photo Stefan Handy.

John Latham

John Latham is a British painter, sculptor, conceptual artist, performance artist, video and filmmaker. He studied at the Chelsea School of Art, London, from 1946 to 1950. His concern from 1954 was not with the production of art objects as an end in itself, but with various processes and consequently with the recording in three dimensions of sequences of events and of patterns of knowledge. In 1958 he introduced torn, overpainted and partly burnt books into assemblages.

The destruction and parody of systems of knowledge implied in Latham's work was apparent in 1966, when he organised a party at which guests chewed pages of Clement Greenberg's book Art and Culture; the remains were then fermented into mash, distilled and returned in a test-tube to the St Martin's School of Art library.

Solo exhibitions include P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2006) and Tate Britain, London (2005). His work was shown in many group exhibitions including documenta 6, Kassel, Germany (1977) and the 51st Venice Biennale (2005).

www.ligatus.org.uk/jla/

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