Saints Alive, Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso © Michael Landy/ Photo: Jimena Santoyo, British Council
About the exhibition
Saints Alive was the result of Michael Landy’s residency under the National Gallery’s Associate Artist Programme, and the sculptures, collages and drawings he made were in response to The National Gallery’s superb collection of old master paintings and drawings.
The exhibition for Mexico has been enlarged since the first showing at The National Gallery in London in 2013, and it now comprises eight sculptures and 40 framed works on paper installed in the magnificent setting of Colegio de San Ildefonso.
As one of the most highly regarded artists working in Britain today, Landy is best known for his large-scale sculptural installations, most notably Break Down of 2001, when over a two week period he systematically dismantled and destroyed every single thing he owned.
At the National Gallery, Landy initially focussed on the sacred stories behind the martyrdom of a small number of saints depicted in their paintings. After an intense period of drawing, he began to make collages on an increasingly ambitious scale which in turn lead led to the creation of the large-scale kinetic sculptures which, as he always intended, could be operated by visitors to the exhibition.
By inviting members of the public to engage directly with contemporary sculpture in this way, Landy breathes new life into the stories, re-animating the lives of the saints for a 21st century audience.
Tuesday from 10:00 to 20:00. Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00.