Working as an artistic duo, contemporary British artists and brothers Jake and Dinos Chapman
attack human depravity and cruelty with some of the most gory but witty art of our time. Intentionally
adopting a strategy of “tastelessness” in order to shock viewers with their outrage, they nevertheless
manage to amuse.
This exhibition presents the Chapmans’ portfolio of 31 heliogravure etchings, “Etchasketchathon,”
2005, recently acquired by the Des Moines Art Center. The Chapmans’ macabre imagery frequently
draws deeply on art history as well as modern popular culture. The artists blatantly steal and
repurpose images from artists of the past to comment on such themes as Nazi atrocities and on the
making of art in the midst of horror. For “Etchasketchathon,” they appropriated and reworked images from
two children’s coloring books of happy animals and children painting. Several of the Chapman's prints recreate
some of the most terrifying images from Francisco Goya’s “Los desastros de la Guerra” series of aquatint
etchings (1812–20). In addition to the Chapmans’ etchings, the exhibition includes four prints from the
“Desastros” series loaned by Grinnell College, and two from the Art Center’s permanent collections.
This exhibition was organized by Amy N. Worthen, curator of prints and drawings and is supported
with funds from the Des Moines Art Center Print Club.
Dinos Chapman (British, born 1962)
Jake Chapman (British, born 1966)
Untitled (Etchasketchathon 1), from the portfolio "Etchasketchathon," 2005
Sheet: 22 1/2 x 20 3/4 inches
Plate: 11 5/8 x 11 3/4 inches
Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections; Purchased with funds from the
David S. Kruidenier, Jr. Estate, and Elizabeth S. Kruidenier 2002 Revocable Trust by exchange and
partial gift of Charles Booth-Clibborn, 2013.30.1