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About Art & Language

Founded in 1967, Art & Language is a celebrated conceptual art collective based in the United Kingdom. Art & Language was created by Terry Atkinson, David Bainbridge, Michael Baldwin, and Harold Hurrell, four artists and academics who were based in the West Midlands community of Coventry. Embracing a wide variety of media and techniques, the constantly shifting membership of Art & Language dedicated themselves to confronting and examining the relationship between artists and spectators. In addition to public presentations of their work, the group also published a journal, Art-Language, that presented their writings and opinions on art and culture. In addition to traditional visual art, Art & Language has often used literature, performance, and appropriated materials as part of its work. One participant in Art & Language's projects was Mayo Thompson, a visual artist who was also a musician, best known for his work with the idiosyncratic Texas psychedelic band the Red Krayola (aka the Red Crayola). Thompson immigrated to England in the '70s, and became a participant in Art & Language. In addition to producing visual art with the group, he worked with them on musical projects, and after assembling a new edition of the Red Krayola, the band became frequent collaborators with A&L. Their first album together, Corrected Slogans, was released in 1976, followed in 1983 by Black Snakes, with featured guest performances from members of Pere Ubu. (Thompson was playing guitar with Pere Ubu at the time.) Sighs Trapped by Liars, a relatively accessible work featuring contributions from Jim O'Rourke, was released in 2007, while 2010's Five American Portraits featured Thompson and his collaborators performing detourned versions of well-known melodies to accompany surreal tales involving famous figures, among them John Wayne, Jimmy Carter, and Wile E. Coyote. In 2016, the Red Krayola and Art & Language released Baby and Child Care, an unreleased project from 1984 with the collaborators drawing inspiration from Dr. Benjamin Spock's iconic book on child rearing. ~ Mark Deming

Top Songs by Art & Language

Top Albums by Art & Language