Andy Holden’s work takes a multitude of forms – large installations or sculptures, long-form videos, animation and music – that often oscillate between personal narratives and historical research. He often appears in his work, as an animated version of himself, as a teenage actor, or in the role of narrator. Recent projects have included a collaboration with his father around a natural history of birds nests and a social history of egg collecting (Natural Selection, Artangel, touring 2017-2019); an illustrated lecture showing that the world has become a cartoon, told though a history of animation (Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape, 2011-19), and a history of his own failed teenage art movement, which advocated a coupling of irony and sincerity (Towards a Unified Theory of M!MS, Zabludowicz Collection, 2013).
Older works include a vast knitted replica of a piece of rock he stole from the Great Pyramid of Giza as a child and later returned (Art Now, Tate Britain, 2010), and a library and sculptural space for performances and readings relating to a theory of ‘Thingly Time’, dedicated to his late collaborator Dan Cox (Kettles Yard Cambridge and Cubitt, London 2012).
He also performs and releases music with the band The Grubby Mitts, which was the subject of a recent film, Oh! My Friends, made for the exhibition about the history of Charles Schulz and Peanuts at Somerset House in 2018, and he curated the first festival of artists’ music at Wysing Art Centre in 2010.
Holden lives and works in Bedford, where he is currently running a project space, Ex-Baldessarre, from his studio, showing a mixture of outsider art, curated projects, experimental music and collaborative installations. He teaches Critical Art Practice at the Royal College of Art in London.