At this year’s ADAA: The Art Show fair, Lehmann Maupin (booth D26) is pleased to present a solo exhibition of recent works by British artist Billy Childish, a prolific painter, writer, and musician. The artist’s vivid oil paintings offer fragmented fields of intense color applied frenetically, leaving the preparatory charcoal marks and linen canvas exposed. Working in traditional genres such as portraiture, still life, and landscape, Childish’s paintings are intuitive, spiritually charged expressions that come from a place of deep personal meaning. Eschewing any hint of post-modern irony in his work, he allows pure personal expression to come to the forefront through a focus on the traditions of painting—color, form, and narrative.
While he is occasionally associated with British groups like the Stuckists and YBAs, Childish does not see himself as connected to any particular contemporary movement. He is, however, highly regarded and well known by his peers, including renowned artists Peter Doig and Tracey Emin. Childish’s influences include artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Kurt Schwitters, Edvard Munch, Mikhail Larionov, and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. Many of these artists worked on the periphery of specific movements or defined groups and perhaps did not achieve fame during their lifetimes, but later came to be cited as major influences to subsequent generations.
Lehmann Maupin will also have a solo presentation of works by Patrick Van Caeckenbergh at its booth (sixth floor) at the Independent Art Fair, running concurrently from March 3-5, 2017, at Spring Studios (50 Varick Street, New York).
About the Artist
After leaving secondary school at age 16, Billy Childish (b. 1959, Chatham, United Kingdom; lives and works in Kent, United Kingdom) worked at the Naval Dockyard in Chatham as an apprentice stonemason. Initially denied an interview to the local art school, he produced hundreds of drawings that gained him entry to London’s St. Martin's School of Art. Childish's defiance to authority led to his eventual expulsion from art school in 1981. He then embarked on an artistic odyssey, exploring a broad range of worldly themes including war, history, and social protest. Over the last 35 years, Childish has gained something of a cult status worldwide. In addition to writing and publishing five novels and more than 40 volumes of confessional poetry, Childish has recorded more than 100 LPs and painted many hundreds of paintings. Childish has had solo and group exhibitions internationally with recent solo exhibitions in New York, London, and Berlin. His work was featured in the major exhibitions Billy Childish: Unknowable but Certain at the ICA in London and White Columns in New York, both in 2010.