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makes a painting a painting?
Manifesto by Childish/Thomson 15.9.04
One of the side panels of the triptych has been completely destroyed, but it is hoped some more of the 228 figures comprising the sculpture can still be retrieved.
As yet completely unreported by the media is what has been described by critic Bevis Hillier as "by far the greatest loss" of the Momart art warehouse fire, where lost works by Tracey Emin, the Chapman Brothers and Damien Hirst have been highlighted.
The work in question, stored there by his family, is the greatest piece by painter and sculptor William Redgrave (1903-86), a bronze triptych The Event, measuring overall 56 x 124" and taking the artist three years to make.
It was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1966, described by the Daily Telegraph as "the most successful piece of sculpture seen at the Academy for many years" and compared with Manzu's bronze doors for St Peter's, Rome. It also greatly impressed former Director of the Tate Gallery, Sir John Rothenstein. It was subsequently shown in various venues but failed to be included in the new Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall because of budgetary problems.
The work shows 49 tableaux of 228 figures on themes ranging from flirtation to gang murder, described in a poem by Scottish poet Alan Bold as "forced/To face the judgement of a world they represent.". It anticipates the more recent massed figures by Antony Gormley and the Chapman Brothers, but displays a compassion and insight into the emotional and mundane experiences of human life that far surpasses them.
Redgrave was first encouraged into sculpture in 1957 by Francis Bacon, of whom he subsequently sculpted a portrait head, as well as others including Diana Rigg, Henry Cooper and Lord Olivier (now on display in the Olivier Theatre foyer, Royal National Theatre on the South Bank).
Redgrave moved in artistic circles which included Francis Bacon, Barbara Hepworth and Roger Hamilton, and was cared for by Quentin Crisp after he contracted TB. He was born in Little Ilford, Essex, worked for a time in the BBC, was an air warden in the Blitz and ran an art school in St Ives with Peter Lanyon (Francis Bacon rented his studio).
The family were embarking on a project to display The Event. More details on William Redgrave and a catalogue from his 1998 show at the Roy Miles Gallery can be obtained from his son Christopher Redgrave firstname.lastname@example.org
Remodernism is the cultural period inaugurated by the Stuckists to promote spiritual (as opposed to religious) values in the place of the ironic disbelief of Postmodernism. We said the Stuckists were the first Remodernist art group.
Now a new group Defastenism has also declared itself Remodernist. They declare "BOILING INSPIRATION AND IDEAS DOWN TO THEIR BARE ESSENTIALS, RESULTING IN BORING, AESTHETICALLY UNINTERESTING WORKS OF ART IS A CHARACTERISTIC OF POSTMODERNISM THAT THE DEFASTENISTS INTEND TO REMEDY."
Founding Defastenist personnel are Gary Farrelly, leader and founder member (along with Ben Mullen), Alex Reilly, Seanan Oliver Manfred Kerr, Jane McGovern. They are based in Dublin with activities in London, Paris and Munich; they include artists, musicians, film makers, writers, architects and designers.
WILLIAMS MOTORS ON 5.7.03
in on the name of a great painter, the Tate Gallery Turner Prize fails
to include a painter in the shortlist for the third year running. It
includes someone who exhibits tree trunks and a couple of chaps who
made Airfix construction kits of tanks.
NB one of the justifications for the Turner Prize is that Turner was a radical innovative artist. Turner died 1851. Photography was available for general use in 1839 and in 1844 William Henry Fox Talbot published a book of
called The Pencil of Nature.
Turner startlingly failed to stop painting pictures in order to move
into this new medium. He didn't even collage photos of ships into his
3.7.03 back to top
CASTLE WINS COMPETITION (21.3.03)
NEW DIRECTION IN MIXED LEEDS SHOW
ABSOLON ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE, ROCHESTER
EVANS COLLECTION AT RIVINGTON GALLERY
TELLS OFF MASSOW
TATE MODERN ANDY WARHOL OMISSION
Tate Modern briefs the public for its current Andy Warhol exhibition with theWarhol quote: "just look at the surface of my paintings.... and there I am", which hints at some significant presence to be found. The Tate fails to continue the quote with the words that follow: "There's nothing behind it", which is a somewhat less impressive promotion of the oeuvre and, despite being the artist's own admission, is one the Tate might well not be keen to make.
It is after all
an analysis that applies equally well to most of the Tate's contemporary
stars, as evidenced annually at the Turner Prize. It
is significant that it should have come from Warhol, the inaugurator
of the Postmodern stance in the visual arts that the celebrity of the
artist takes precedence over the need for any worth in the work.
MASSOW/STUCKISTS BBC NEWS SITE
This has ruffled a few feathers, including, not surprisingly, Tracey Emin's, who called for him to resign. Sir Nicholas Serota who was also lambasted, declined to comment, which is his usual spirited stance on the wrong kind of artistic challenge. Stuckist response | Post a comment | Report on Massow's comments | Guardian Report
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A few minutes earlier Rachel Whiteread's 'sculpture' of a resin cast of a plinth placed upside-down on a plinth had been unveiled by Culture Secretary, Chris Smith.
As Smith left the low podium, Thomson clambered over the crowd barrier onto it and addressed the crowd through the p.a. His statement addressed Smith's statement two years ago that there should be more painting in the Turner Prize (this year there is none at all).
Simultaneously, more banners were held up by half a dozen members of Students for Stuckism (led by S.P.
Howarth) and other groups. One read, "New Labour, Old Saatchi". Another showed Thomson's painting of Sir Nicholas with a pair of red knickers.
A livid Serota approached Thomson afterwards and labelled his action as "cheap" for making use of the work of another artist. "It's Dada," was the reply. Serota, seemingly on the point of meltdown, suggested Thomson thought he could do whatever he wanted whenever he wanted.
Thomson said this was not the case, but that Serota and a small number of other people controlled the art world, and that the Stuckists were forced to resort to such tactics in order to get their point of view heard - at which Serota walked off.
The Stuckists understand
that Sir Nicholas Serota is a strong advocate of artists being 'challenging'
and wonder where we have gone wrong. The wrong sort of challenge perhaps?
SARAH KENT AND TRADING STANDARDS
From the Evening Standard (31 May 2001):
understand that Ms Kent's explanation is that she only has room in the
magazine for one in every four shows. However, seeing as we are opening
five on the same day, that should at least leave space for one of them.
STUCKIST WINS BIG PUBLIC ART COMMISSION
Eamon Everall got comissioned to do a large outdoor 3D thingy in Leyton entitled 'Millenium Temple'. It is the height of a double-decker bus and weighs over 5 tons. It consists of three stone Grecian pillars supporting a large white plastic ball with a light inside it. The artist states that it represents "the advent of a hopeful future firmly supported on the solid but careworn foundations of the past." [What? - Ed]
The project was awarded in open competition by London Borough of Waltham Forest. If you look carefully, you can see it plonked at the junction of Lea Bridge Road and Hoe Street, London E10, England. The maquette will be on show in the Rivington Gallery Annexe, 3 Ravey Street, EC2 from 31 May.
artist laments that he has "hardly made anything at all out of it".
We believe him? Mr
Everall tells us that he welcomes more dosh - sorry, enquiries - for
indoor or outdoor commissions, the more expensive - that is, bigger
- the better!
MISS THIS PROGRAMME!
TO A CABINET MINISTER, 29 May 2001
TAKE ON SMITH ON POLLING DAY
Thomson alleges (although this is nothing new for readers of this site - or Jackdaw magazine) that there are "people on Arts Council panels awarding taxpayers money to galleries which display works of art by people on the panels". He also challenges the Culture Secretary to a debate on such issues, which the government's failure to address is condemned as "another example of Labour sleeze".
STUCK IN FOLKESTONE
John Hosking who recently took the bit and founded the Folkestone Stuckists has now issued a statement claiming to be "the most stuck... of all Stuckist, being stuck out in the sticks" (does he know there is a group in Mid-Kentucky?). As he is probably the only painter in Folkestone, he has broadened his franchise to "sculptors, writers, poets, performers and musicians" (not that there's many of them in Folkestone either). John was a guest artist at the STUCK show Folkestone's Metropole Arts Centre last May. Contact him: email@example.com 10 March 2001 back to top
The 5 February 2001 issue of The Big Issue (the magazine sold by the homeless, just in case anybody didn't know) kindly features a whole page on the Stuckists.
It includes a bold colour print of Ella Guru's 'Divine' which is rapidly becoming a Stuckist icon and is actually called 'The Long Island Iced Tea Party II' (the wrong title appearing in our book and not the fault of Big Issue, we hasten to add).
The article by Helen Sumpter is accurate, insightful, comprehensive and well worth getting. Order a back issue for a mere £1.50 from: http://www.bigissue.com/london/back.htm
Ah yes, that Louisa Buck makes an appearance as the mandatory other side of the argument. Here's what she has to say (our comments in square brackets): "The Tate isn't a seething mass of work by Hirst, Emin and Lucas [never said it was, although on a recent visit there were three Emin videos playing and not one work by, for example, Peter Blake on view]...
"I saw the last Stuckists exhibition and some of the work was just plain cack [so what exactly was the rest of it then? Some other kind of cack? Or maybe the rest of it was good? Who knows? Who's was the plain cack? Have some guts Louisa and name names: we promise to publish your analysis in full, so you can go down in art history as the person that called cack cack].
"There may be a lot of boring conceptual work [ah, we agree on something at least] but to have a grumpy [vivacious] reactionary [forward-thinking] movement against it is just daft." [Yes, of course it is - much better to stay bored, keep in with the in crowd and pocket the cash. (We hasten to add these comments are generalised observations and in no way allude to the person of Louisa Buck, who, as far as we know does not at all subscribe to such behaviour or attitudes)].
So what exactly
can we find out about the character of the elusive Louisa and her take
on the profundity of non-cack? "Never...", according to an article
by her in ES (Evening Standard) magazine last year, has the following
quotation from US Museum Director Thomas Hoving "seemed more apt". Here
then is what art is all about: "Art is sexy! Art is money-sexy! Art
STUCKISM 20TH CENTURY ART MOVEMENT - OFFICIAL!
ALSO BIT ABOUT LOUISA BUCK (WHO'S SHE?)
Wildbrush's Art Today site lists some sixty 20th Century art movements, amongst which you will doubtless be relieved (and also impressed by Wildbrush's astuteness) that Stuckism takes its place, (albeit with some glaring typos in evidence). All the more odd then that Louisa Buck's recently revised book 'Moving Targets: a User's Guide to British Art now' fails to even mention the existence of Stuckism. Come on Louisa (wait for it - dreadful pun imminent) buck up. So click on Wildbrush* and don't buy Louisa Buck's book (although it does mention Childish, so flick through it in the shop). 3 March 2001
Web site: www.dieter-obrecht.info/movements/mov_stuckism.htm Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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