Andy Holden


Andy Holden is both a multi-media artist and a musician whose body of work is varied and spans across different techniques. Indeed, his artistic output is influenced by the dialogue and synergy between the different facets of his practice: he works with plaster, bronze, ceramics, found objects and images, household paint and printmaking, video, sound and performance. Some of the recurring themes in his work are history, memory, nostalgia and philosophical enquiry. In apparent disaccord with the universality and urgency of these issues, Holden’s explorations often take the form of repurposed everyday techniques – such as knitting – or ‘entities’ – such as the beloved cartoon characters of our childhood. One of the most challenging traits of Holden’s practice is the dichotomy between the childlike gaze with which the world is examined and the simultaneous awareness of life’s periodic bleakness. Andy Holden’s interest in childhood and notions of play in relation to art stems from his investigation on how we experience objects in the world: this also leads him to probe the relationship between artefact and artifice, authentic and fake, as well as to experiments with scale.  

Andy Holden graduated from Goldsmiths, London in 2005. He first came to the attention of a large public in 2010 for his ‘Pyramid Piece’ and ‘Return of the Pyramid Piece’, exhibited in the Art Now series at Tate Britain.  In 2017 Holden collaborated with his father the ornithologist Peter Holden on the exhibition Natural Selection, commissioned by Artangel. The exhibition explored the sculptural properties of birds’ nests and the history of oology in Britain, as well as themes of parental influence, ideas of nature and nurture. The exhibition was given a five-star review by The Observer and subsequently toured to Leeds Art Gallery, Bristol Museum and other venues. The films were acquired by the Tate Collection, Bristol Museum and Leeds Art Gallery. The book accompanying the exhibition includes an essay by nature writer Helen MacDonald. 

In 2024, ‘Natural selection’ and other works by Andy Holden will be shown at the Kröller Müller Museum, Otterlo, the Netherlands.

Works can be found in the permanent collections of Tate Gallery, Leeds Art Gallery, Bristol Museum, Arts Council Collection and Zabludowicz Collection in the UK and various collections in Europe. 


Lives and works in Bedfordshire, UK

Works can be found in the permanent collections of Tate Gallery, Leeds Art Gallery, Bristol Museum, Arts Council Collection and Zabludowicz Collection in the UK and various collections in Europe. 

List of Events and Exhibitions (* denotes solo exhibition)

British Art Show 9, Whitworth, Manchester UK
British Art Show 9, Box, Plymouth UK
Raw Nerves, Hannah Barry Gallery, Peckham, UK
Ghost Show, Copeland Park, London
Cubitt 30, Victoria Miro, London
Empathy for People, Empathy for Things, Uni Hatfield Gallery, UK
For the Birds, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, USA
British Art Show 9, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, UK


Unnatural History, Herbert Coventry 

Arcadia, Bold Tendencies, London

Collected Domestic Conceptualism, Pitt Studio, Worcester

British Art Show 9, various venues 

Beano: Art of Breaking the Rules, Somerset House (Curator)

Where I end and You begin, HIDDE VAN SEGGELEN, Hamburg


Structure of Feeling (Ghost Train), Block 336, London*


Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape, Cinema Museum, London

Natural Selection, Shetland Arts, Shetland*

Natural Selection, Bristol Museum*

Fragile Earth, MIMA 

Invisible, Science Gallery, Dublin 

What Am I? – An Exhibition by Simon Munnery (Curator),

Hippo Campus, Newlyn Art Exchange 

Natural Slection, Hospitalfields/Arbroath Law Courts, Scotland

Dark Matter, Science Gallery. London


Good Grief Charlie Brown, Somerset House, London

Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape, Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto*

Natural Selection/Laws of Motion, Front International, Cleveland, USA

Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape (live), Alserkal Avenue Project Space, Dubai

Natural Selection, CAST, Cornwall*

Natural Selection, Towner Gallery, Eastbourne*

Natural Selection, Leeds Art Gallery*

Animals and Us, Turner Contemporary, Margate 

Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape (live), Groundwork, Cornwall

Rinnzekete bee bee nnz err müü, Kunstverein Weisbarden (Group show)

Opposite of Time, Henry Moore Studio, Mutch Hadam (performance)

Silly Symphony, Ex-Baldessarre Bedford (Curator)

Estate of Hermione, Ex-Baldessarre, Bedford (Curator)


Natural Selection, Artangel at Former Newington Library, London

Laws of Motion, Kunsthalle Viborg, Denmark (off site in Laws Court)

World as Cartoon, Tate Britain, Performance

Future Generation Art Prize, Pinchuk Foundation, Ukraine

Future Generation Art Prize  at Venice Biennale

As Speed Increase Objects can Ben in Several Places At Once, Lancaster Arts*

50 Years of Milton Keynes, M!MS Dream Sequence, Milton Keynes Gallery


The Practice of Theories, Wysing Arts Centre, group exhibition

Secret Surface, K-W Berlin, group exhibition

Playing by the Rules, Royal Standard, Liverpool, group show

Pitt Projects: Music vs Ceramics, at Pulse New York, new works editions and films

TEFAF Maastricht, NL, Installation with Hidde van Seggelen, 

Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape, Wasps, Glasgow International*


Towards a Unifie Theory of M!MS, Kunsthall Winterthur*

It’s Only Bondage was the Circling Sky, SVA/Site Festival, Stroud*

20 Years, Zabludowicz Collection

Lecture on Nesting, Bristol Museum with Spike Island


The Politics of Friendship Tour, tour of nine artist-run spaces around the UK with the Grubby Mitts

inc: Primary, S1 Artspace, Rhubaba, Supercollider, Karst, Aid and Abet, Grand Union, Open School East

Hey I’m Mr Poetic, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge

Anatomy of Anxieties, Edouard Malingue Gallery, Hong Kong

Towards a Unified Theory of M!MS, Spike Island, Bristol*

Cacotopia / Peach Blossom Spring, Kui Yuan Gallery, China (touring)

Hello, Welcome, performance for Art Licks Weekend

On the Devolution of Culture, Rob Tufnell, London

The Proper Situation is Sublime, commission for Cambridge Hospital


Seven Short Works in Time, Hospitalfield Arts, Angus 

Lecture on Nesting, Performa 13, New York, USA

Towards a Unified Theory of M!MS, Zabludowicz Collection, Londonª

As real as walking down the street and going to the grocery store, Rowing, London 

Universal Addressability of Dumb Things, Hayward Touring curated by Mark Leckey,

Liverpool Bluecoat, Nottingham Contemporary, De la Ware Pavilion

Version Control, Arnolfini, Bristol

Folly and Landscape, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh*

Random Acts, film for Channel 4, commissioned by TATE Media

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Arnolfini, Bristol (stage production) 


Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape, Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston

The Dan Cox Library for the Unfinished Concept of Thingly Time, Cubitt*

Soundworks, ICA London

Becoming Thing, Whitechapel, performance with Ed Adkins

Nothing Like Something Happens Anywhere, Chapter, Cardiff

Lecture on Nesting, Penzance Convention, performance with Peter Holden.

Lecture on Bird Song, House of Beasts, Attingham Park, performance.

Latitude Contemporary Art, Latitude Festival, Suffolk

Discussing Metamodernism, Gallery Tanja Wagner, Berlin

A Plea for Tenderness, Seventeen Gallery, Curated by David R Conroy

Stalagmite Rock Club, Art Rotterdam, solo presentation*

Cookham Erratics, Works|Projects, Bristol*

Grubby Mitts, Performance at First Site, Colchester

Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape, Hay-on-Wye festival, performance

Brief Interview’s with Hideous Men, ICA, two night production in collaboration with David Raymond Conroy

Grubby Mitts single launch, Old Queen’s Head, Islington

Human Made Things, Aspex, Portsmouth

Occupants, Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston


Chewy Cosmos Thingly Time, Kettle’s Yard Cambridge*

Cookham Erratic, Benaki Museum, Athens*

Transcendental Empiricism, Rob Tufnell, London

Art Now Live, Tate Britain (Lecture on Birdsong)

BruderKreigSoundSystem, ICA, London, cuarted by Mark Leckey

I Promise To Love You, Kunsthalle Rotterdam

A Fire in the Master’s House is Set, Chapter, Cardiff.

Life of the Mind (Grubby Mitts performance), New Art Gallery, Walsall,(Curated by Bob and Roberta Smith)

Off the Record, Resonance 104.4Fm, curated by Royal College curating MA


Art Now: Andy Holden, TATE Britain*

Be Glad for the Song Has No End ~ a Festival of Artists Music (curator)

Props, Events and Encounters, Hub, Athens

Six Short Works in Time, Victoria University Gallery, Liverpool

Daily, Action, Poetry, (with Grubby Mitts), Hayward Gallery

Lecture on Nesting, London Festival of Architecture

Permanent Vacation, Bureau Manchester*

The Eccentric, The Idiosyncratic and the Unpredictable, Schirman & de Beaucé, Paris

Canadian Pharmacy, Neon Parc, Melbourne, Australia

Three Short Works in Time, TATE Britain (performance with Grubby Mitts)


Desert Project, Works/Projects, Bristol*

Lecture on Migration, performance, Transition Gallery, London

Performed, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge

A Series of Small Encounters, Hidde van Seggelen*

Two Short Works In Time, Performance, Odeon Cinema, Covent Garden*

Abstract, Almost Abstract 2 , Gallerie van Gelder, NL


Experimenta Folklore, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Germany

The World is Round and Mr Wrigley Makes Chewing Gum, Kunstfort, NL*

You Go On Without Me, Hex Projects, London*

Poldergeist, Kunstfort Vijfhuizen, NL


The Thing in Itself, Peles Empire, curated by Mark Leckey


M!MS, Zabludowicz Publishing, 2013

Chewy Cosmos Thingy Time, Kettles Yard Catalogue

The World is Round and Mr Wriggly Makes Chewing Gum, Catalogue, NL

The Art of Not Making, Thames and Hudson, 2011

Spacecraft, Hideouts, & Fleeting Architectures II, Gestalten, 2009

Spacecraft, Hideouts, & Fleeting Architectures, Gestalten, 2007

The Object, Documents in Contemporary Art, Whitechapel Gallery,


Lenny 12″ Vinyl, ed 100, Holden

After the Fact, CD, ed 300, The Grubby Mitts

To a Friend’s House 7″, ed 500, The Grubby Mitts

Standard 7″, ed 300, The Grubby Mitts

What the World Needs Now Is, CD, ed 1000, The Grubby Mitts

Music of Exhaustion, unique 7″, ed 300, The Grubby Mitts

Towards a Unified Theory of M!MS, 12″, edition 250, Holden


2005-2006: Guest Student Staedelschule, Frankfurt, Germany

2002-2005: BA Fine Art: Goldsmiths College

2001-2002: Foundation in Art, Cambridge Regional College

Currently visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art on Contemporary Art Practice 


Paul Hamlyn Award, 2012

Stanley Picker Fellowship, Kingston University, 2011-12

Boise Travel Award, Slade/UCL, 2008

Selected Press:

Art Forum, Jan 2018

Frieze, Laws of Motion, feature, July 2017

Observer, 5* Review of Natural Selection, Oct 2017

Sky Sherwin, Rising stars of 2014 – art: The Observer

Robert Clark and Skye Sherwin, The best exhibitions of 2014: The Guardian 

Interview: Frieze Magazine, June 2012.

Stephanie Bailey, Towards a Manifesto of Irony, Sincerity, and Nostalgia (Interview): Hyperallergic 

Modern Painters, Childish Things: Andy Holden’s Sincere Irony 

Mousse Magazine, Andy Holden at Zabludowicz Collection 

20 inspirational artist selected by Frieze cover artists, 2010

Interview, Crack Magazine, Feb 2013

I Object, Art Monthly, September 2013

Sound: Be Glad For The Song Has No End, review, Art Monthly, November 2010

Chewy Cosmos, Thingly Time, review by David Ryan, Art Monthly, Sept 2011

Reviews of solo exhibitions in Art Monthly, Frieze, A-N, Craft, Art Review, Guardian, and Time Out.