BRUCE MCLEAN
Working in a variety of mediums including painting, film and video projection, performance and photography, Bruce McLean is one of the most important artists of his generation.

It was with live works that McLean first grabbed the attention of the art world. An impulsive, energetic Glaswegian, he became known as an art world 'dare-devil' by critiquing the fashion-oriented, social climbing nature of the contemporary art world in the '70s. At St Martins his professors included the great sculptors of the day, Anthony Caro and Phillip King, whose work he mocked ruthlessly. In ‘Pose Work for Plinths I’ (1971; London, Tate), he used his own body to parody the poses of Henry Moore's celebrated reclining figures, daring to mock the grand master himself.

The notion of using his whole body as a sculptural vehicle of expression led him to explore live actions: 'it was when we (a collective) invented the concept of 'pose' that We could do anything'. Pose was live sculpture: Not mime, not theatre, but live sculpture. My colleagues, Paul Richards, Ron Carr, Garry Chitty, Robin Fletcher and I created Nice Style 'The World's First Pose Band', which performed for several years, offering audiences such priceless gems as the 'semi-domestic spectacular Deep Freeze, a four-part pose opera based on the lifestyle and values of a mid-west American vacuum cleaner operative'. Behind the obvious humour was a desire to break with the establishment, something that he has continued to do throughout his life and work. In 1972, for instance, he was offered an exhibition at the Tate Gallery, but opted, for a 'retrospective' lasting only one day. 'King for a Day' consisted of catalogue entries for a thousand mock-conceptual works, among them The Society for Making Art Deadly Serious piece, Henry Moore revisited for the 10th Time piece and There's no business like the Art business piece (sung).

The first exhibition McLean participated in was the experimental and highly regarded ‘When Attitudes Become Form’, curated by the late Harald Szeemann, at the Kunsthalle Bern. Other seminal shows he participated in were ‘Op Losse Schroeven’, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam 1969; ‘Information’, curated by Kynaston L. McShine at the Museum of Modern Art New York 1970, and ‘The British Avant Garde’, New York Cultural Centre 1970. In the 1980's other important shows included ‘A New Spirit in Painting’, Royal Academy 1981; ‘Zeitgeist’, The Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin 1982; and ‘documenta 6, 7 & 8’, Kassel.

Between 1981 and 1986 — when the gallery closed — McLean had nine solo and group exhibitions at D’Offay Gallery in London, showing alongside Andre, Baselitz, Beuys, Clemente, Gilbert & George, Johns, Kelly, Kiefer, de Kooning, Koons, Kounellis, Long, Merz, Miyajima, Mucha, Nauman, Polke, Richter, Schnabel, Smith, Turrell, Twombly, Viola, Warhol, and Weiner.

Bruce Mclean
'Hreinn Fridfinnsson & Bruce McLean', 2014
Installation view, Grazer Kunstverein, Graz



Bruce McLean
‘EARACHE: an Opera Bouffant or How Elvis's Quiff Killed Johnnie Ray', 2013
Video, colour, sound
(MCLEAN-2013-0183)



Bruce McLean
‘Crease Crisis’, 1973
Modified black-and-white photograph
43 x 27.5 cm
Unique
(MCLEAN-2011-0006)



Bruce McLean
‘Nice Style, End of an Era’, 1975
Drawing
170 cm x 180 cm
Unique
(MCLEAN-2011-0008)



Bruce McLean
Installation For A Specific Part of the Body..'Mouth', 1972
Colour vintage photograph (framed)
48 x 48 cm
Unique
(MCLEAN-2011-0086)



Bruce McLean
'King for a Day', 1972
Colour vintage photograph
40 x 40 cm
Unique
(MCLEAN-2011-0050)



Bruce McLean
‘A Million Smiles for One of Your Miles Walter’, 1971
Black-and-white photograph
40 x 38 cm
Unique
(MCLEAN-2011-0010)



Bruce McLean
‘Hello Walter Is That You on The Line?’, 1971
Black-and-white photograph
40 x 39 cm
Unique
(MCLEAN-2011-0011)



'Nice Style (Bruce McLean with Robin Fletcher, Gary Chitty and Paul Richards)'
Black-and-white vintage photograph
25.5 x 18.4 cm
Unique



'Nice Style Training Session', 1971



Bruce McLean
‘Pose Work for Plinths’, 1971
15 black-and-white photographs
10 x 15.5 cm each
Unique
(MCLEAN-2011-0007)



Bruce McLean
'Levitation Piece', 1971
Black and white photograph (framed)
24 x 16 cm
Edition of 5 + 2 AP
(MCLEAN-2011-0082)



Bruce McLean
‘Tea on the Knee’, 1971
Black-and-white photograph
23.5 x 15 cm
Unique
(MCLEAN-2011-0004)