Bruce Lacey  (1927)

Bruce Lacey is one of Britain´s great visionary artists. His lifetime pursuit of eccentric ‘making and doing’ has been a cathartic working-through of his experiences. This survey of a rich and diverse artistic production is a celebration of both his vibrant life (which includes working with Spike Milligan, The Beatles and Ken Russell) and his art which reveals telling links with the visual culture of the last 60 years. Co-curated by artist Jeremy Deller and art historian Professor David Alan Mellor, the exhibition charts Lacey’s artistic development in a career encompassing painting, sculpture, robotised assemblages, theatrical performances and installations, as well as community arts and ritual action performances.

Lacey has described his work as a type of personal psychotherapy which has intuitively responded to his emotional needs. This approach began in his early 20s; whilst hospitalised with tuberculosis after serving in the Royal Navy he started to draw macabre scenes and childhood memories. After his recovery in 1951, he enrolled at the Royal College of Art and simultaneously began his performance career with outrageous stunts drawn from circus and variety theatre.

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