edinburgh

Boyle Family

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Mark Boyle started out as a poet, Joan Hills as a painter. Under her influence he took up the brush too—this was in the late ’50s—and by the beginning of the next decade the two young Scots had moved to London and were making junk assemblages and, soon, “events” or happenings, all under the name Mark Boyle, though in fact collaborative. Since 1985 they have exhibited as the Boyle Family, working with their children Sebastian and Georgia. As Mark Boyle put it in 1965, they came to understand as their goal “to include everything in a single work. . . . In the end the only medium in which it will be possible to say everything will be reality.” They took actual material—earth, debris, and so on—from randomly selected spots in vacant lots and demolition sites and used resin to fix it, exactly as found, to rectangular boards which they then hung like paintings. (These were

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