london

David Mach

Lisson Gallery | 27 Bell Street | London

Everyone knows that Englishmen sit at home in the evenings making models of Westminster Abbey out of matchsticks. No exception to this rule, David Mach piles up thousands of books and magazines to make monumental sculptures—a sphinx, an Eiffel Tower, a reclining nude, a steam train, a Centurion tank. All are monumental but impermanent: each showing demands a laborious remake. And the very nature of Mach’s materials—mainly unsold magazines ready for pulping—hints that this is only one stage in their life. Like Jean-Luc Vilmouth, Tony Cragg, and Bill Woodrow, all Lisson Gallery artists who recycle urban debris, Mach is making a point that is not lost on his audience during Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s worsening economic depression.

Mach’s use of material involves certain rules. Spectators get angry when he breaks them: for the nose of his engine he has cut the magazines in layers. Other

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the November 1982 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.